Joe Theisman & Danny White:
Their intention was to take us out. If you had that kind of physical talent and a scheme that allowed you to take shots at the quarterback, if you didn't take us out legally, you'd be crazy. It seemed like the sole purpose of that defense was to make the quarterback's life as miserable as possible."
White laughed at the idea of a humane Bears' defender, too.
"I can tell you that if a defensive lineman tells you he didn't mean to hurt the quarterback, you'd have to define hurt," White said with a pained chuckle. "Maybe they didn't mean to permanently disable you, but knock you out of a game, absolutely. That's their job, to get the backup to come in and create as much chaos for the offense as they could."
I was with Joe Theismann one night about 10 years ago, and we started talking about defense. That always becomes a delicate topic when you're talking with Theismann because his leg was famously cracked and his career ended by Lawrence Taylor on a Monday night for the nation to see.
So it surprised me when Theismann said what he still dreamed of, what literally caused him nightmares years after he retired, was the Bears' "46" defense, which rumbled through his Redskins in the '84 playoffs and again in the '85 regular season.
"I can still see them now," Theismann said, and he began pointing at an imaginary 11 in front of him and reciting their names: "Richard Dent, Fridge, McMichael, Hampton ... Otis Wilson, Singletary, Wilber Marshall, Leslie Frazier, Gary Fencik, Dave Duerson, Mike Richardson."
It was like Theismann was seeing ghosts, and for a quarterback on the Bears' schedule in 1985 that's probably what they were.
Bears went to Dallas and trashed the division-winning Cowboys 44-0 in Texas Stadium. It has to be the most humiliating defeat in Cowboys history and in Tom Landry's storied tenure. They knocked both Danny White and Steve Pelluer out of the game, and there's this one image of Landry on the sideline trying to talk White into going back into the game.
The Cowboys were literally physically afraid to play the Bears that afternoon.