Bears Hall of Famers Mike Ditka, Clyde "Bulldog" Turner and Dan Fortmann have been selected as 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.
Ditka is one of 12 tight end finalists, while Turner and Fortmann are among 40 offensive line finalists. The five tight ends and 18 offensive linemen (seven tackles, seven guards and four centers) who earned spots on the All-Time Team will be unveiled Friday at 7 p.m. (CT).
Before he became "Da Coach" in the 1980s, Ditka was one of the NFL's greatest tight ends. He was voted to five Pro Bowls in six seasons with the Bears from 1961-66, catching 316 passes for 4,503 yards and 34 TDs. Ditka remains the Bears' all-time leader in all three of those categories among tight ends and was the first tight end inducted into the Hall of Fame in1988.
Turner played his entire NFL career with the Bears from 1940-52, helping the Monsters of the Midway win four league championships while playing on both sides of the ball at center and linebacker. He was named All-NFL six times. Turner led the league with eight interceptions at linebacker in 1942, ran for a 48-yard touchdown as an emergency running back in 1944 and returned an interception 96 yards for a TD in 1947. He was voted to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1940s and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.
Fortmann was chosen by the Bears in the seventh round of the first NFL Draft in 1936 out of Colgate. A star guard, he was voted first-team All-Pro for seven straight seasons from 1937-43 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1940s. Fortmann helped the Bears win three league championships and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1965.
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.