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Atkins, Hewitt finalists for NFL 100 All-Time Team


Bears Hall of Famers Doug Atkins and Bill Hewitt are among 33 defensive lineman finalists for the NFL 100 All-Time Team.

In celebration of the league's 100th season, a roster of the 100 greatest players and 10 best coaches has been compiled. Over six consecutive Friday nights, host Rich Eisen will be joined by Patriots coach Bill Belichick and analyst Cris Collinsworth to introduce the All-Time Team on NFL Network. 

The 14 defensive linemen on the team will be unveiled this Friday at 7 p.m. (CT).

Atkins was voted the ninth best player in Bears history by authors Dan Pompei and Don Pierson in the Bears Centennial Scrapbook. The mammoth 6-8, 252-pound defensive end played 12 of his 17 NFL seasons with the Bears from 1955-66, helping them win the 1963 championship. Atkins was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1960s and was voted to eight Pro Bowls in his career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

Hewitt played his first five NFL seasons with the Bears from 1932-36, helping them win back-to-back championships in 1932 and 1933. He was voted first-team All-Pro three times as a member of the Bears and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1930s. His jersey No. 56 is retired by the team and he was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Other defensive lineman finalists include Julius Peppers and Alan Page, both of whom spent four seasons with the Bears but played the bulk of their careers with the Panthers and Vikings, respectively.

Following each premiere of the NFL 100 All-Time Team will be the NFL 100 All-Time Team Reaction Show, a one-hour live recap hosted by Chris Rose where the selections from each episode will be debated and discussed.

The process to select and celebrate the historic team began in early 2018 with the appointment of a 26-person blue-ribbon voting panel made up of coaches, team and front office executives, former players and members of the media with a deep appreciation for the history of the league, its teams and players, as well as a commitment to research. Pierson, a longtime football writer for the Chicago Tribune, was a member of the panel.