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Was William "Refrigerator" Perry overrated?

Posted Jul 2, 2013

Larry discusses whether he agrees with NFL.com that William Perry is the most overrated Bears player, Family Fest activities and the defensive line rotation this season.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

NFL.com recently listed William "Refrigerator" Perry as "easily" the Bears' most overrated player ever. I've always heard him derided as a celebrity rather than an athlete, an '85 highlight reel only. Rightly no one compares him to Richard Dent or Dan Hampton, but is it just my fond memory or did he move around the field way better than his size justified?

Darin O.

I wouldn't say that the Fridge was "overrated" because people generally don't refer to him as one of the greats on that famous 1985 defense like Hall of Famers Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary. William Perry probably received more attention as a rookie than he deserved based on his contributions. But any of us who watched the Bears closely at the time no doubt remember how much fun it was to see the Fridge thundering into the end zone as the world's largest ballcarrier or blasting Packers linebacker George Cumby into the cheap seats, paving the way for Walter Payton to waltz into the end zone. As a defensive tackle, Perry definitely possessed incredible power and great athleticism for his size. I remember him scooping up a fumble against the Lions, jumping over someone on the ground and nearly dashing the length of the field. And knowing how then-defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan didn't like to play rookies, it says something about the Fridge that he was able to earn a starting job on that great defense in his first season.

I just got tickets to Family Fest for my wife and I to celebrate our one-year anniversary. I was wondering what kind of activities go on and if there's a possibility of meeting and/or getting autographs from any of the players. In the four years we've known each other, I've converted her from a Packers fan into a Bears fan!

Justin
Des Moines, Iowa

First of all, you should be commended for showing your wife the error of her ways and converting her into a Bears fan. The world needs more people like you. The best thing about Family Fest is that it gives fans a chance to see their team practice and experience Soldier Field for a fraction of what a game costs. (Tickets for Family Fest are only $8-12.) There are also activities around the stadium, including a pre-practice concert and post-practice fireworks show. There's a contest to receive an autograph from a player on the field after practice, but it's much easier to get autographs following training camp practices in Bourbonnais. By the way, this year's Family Fest is on Saturday, Aug. 3. Tickets are available by calling (800) 745-3000 or logging onto www.ticketmaster.com.

What will the Bears' defensive line rotation look like this season?

Nikolaus B.
Kansas City, Missouri

If the season started today, you'd probably see Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton and Shea McClellin sharing time at end and Henry Melton, Stephen Paea and Sedrick Ellis getting reps at tackle. But there's a long way to go before any of those decisions are finalized. Several other individuals have a legitimate chance to not only earn a roster spot but make a push for playing time in training camp and the preseason. Those players include ends Turk McBride, Kyle Moore, Cheta Ozougwu, rookie Cornelius Washington and Aston Whiteside; and tackles Nate Collins and Corvey Irvin. Competition on the defensive line this summer figures to be intense.

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