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Fans weigh in


We asked our readers for their comments on Adam Rank's rankings of the top 11 Bears players of all time. Here's Rank's list followed by what our readers had to say about it:

1. Walter Payton

2. Gale Sayers

3. Dick Butkus

4. Mike Singletary

5. Devin Hester

6. Brian Urlacher

7. Red Grange

8. Bronko Nagurski

9. Bill George

10. Richard Dent

11. Sid Luckman

Troy from Frederick, Maryland:

Old-timers are clearly at a disadvantage in a list like this. I never saw them play, but based upon reputation, where are George McAfee and Bulldog Turner? Also, Richard Dent belongs on the list, but not ahead of Dan Hampton. Mike Ditka might also deserve to be on the list instead of Dent.

Chris from Chicago Heights, Illinois:

What stands out most is that someone not from the Chicago area ranks Sweetness as the greatest NFL player of all time. We've known that here for a long time; it's good to see it acknowledged by a national sportswriter. For those of us fortunate enough to have seen him play week-in and week-out, there is no doubt he is the greatest player ever.

Zach from San Antonio Texas:

I think Peanut Tillman should have been on there.

Markam from Cornwall, Ontario, Canada:

I would have to completely agree with Rank's No.1 Bear of all-time. Walter Payton was and is the greatest player in NFL history. He is my hero and all-time sports personality! We'll never see the likes of Walter again. They called him Sweetness for a reason.


Totally agree that Brian Urlacher should be above Devin Hester. But who can forget the opening kickoff in Super Bowl XLI?

Jerry from Ft. Myers, Florida:

Bronko Nagurski was a two-way player. He was a bone-crushing fullback, and played on the defense. Also on my list would be defensive end Doug Atkins.

Brian from Des Plaines, Illinois:

Devin Hester is the best return specialist in the game, but should not be above Brian Urlacher or Richard Dent.

Darin from Grass Valley, California

I wish that he had Bronko Nagurski higher, ahead of Red Grange for sure, but probably at three. Dick Butkus/Walter Payton (too close for me), Nagurski, Gale Sayers, Mike Singletary. Grange was good, but not a dominant pro, but Nagurski reshaped the games he played. The tough part is who's left off the list, since 11 eliminates Bulldog Turner, Stan Jones, Peanut Tillman (best DB in team history), Mark Bortz, Dan Hampton and Mike Ditka. I'd put most of them above Grange as a pro, but that's because they should all be on the list.

Alan from Kennesaw, Georgia:

Walter Payton is the most versatile, talented athlete to ever play the game. He could also punt. Think Dick Butkus should be No. 2. It's really hard to pick the best of the best, but I would find a way to get Peanut Tillman into the group.

Dick Scott:

At 83 years of age, I saw all these players, including Bill George, play. I saw the last game that Sid Luckman played, but I can't really say that I remember him as a player. I totally agree with his listing, but if he had included Willie Galimore, I would agree, but his list is really on target!

Jeff from Chester, California:

I love Devin Hester, but I think Peanut Tillman should be there as well. Either way they are both great Bears!

Barbara from Melbourne, Florida:

I would include quarterback Jim McMahon, who took us to our fabulous Super Bowl! What a dynamo!

Sal from Chicago:

Having Devin Hester above Brian Urlacher is a travesty.

Arnie from Lansing, Illinois:

The entire NFL History: No. 1 Dick Butkus; No. 2 Walter Payton; No. 3 Jerry Rice. Ask any old-timer about Butkus.

Tom, Dayton, Ohio

Never saw him play, but Red Grange was instrumental in the creation of the NFL. I might rank him a little higher, but the list looks rather good.

Brian from Byron, Illinois:

I would include Doug Buffone. Solid, tough, did his job in the shadow of Dick Butkus.

Jack from Greenwood, Indiana:

I think Dan Hampton deserves a spot on this list as he was the most complete defensive lineman in Bears history. It was his presence that created opportunities for Steve McMichael, Richard Dent and William Perry to operate one-on-one against offensive linemen. It was also his presence that kept blockers off of Mike Singletary, Wilber Marshall and Otis Wilson.  Having said that, I'm not sure who he would replace on this list. Probably Devin Hester or Dent even though I agree that Hester is the greatest kick returner in NFL history.

Tim from Joliet, Illinois:

The only one I thought deserved to be in the top five who wasn't is Sid Luckman. He was hands down the best quarterback the Bears have ever had (until now that is). I have only seen tapes of his games, but his stats say it best.