The Bears' last playoff team was led by a staunch defense, a gritty offense and featured a handful of fun-loving personalities.
Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher and receiver/return specialist Devin Hester, both members of the Bears' 2010 team that last made the playoffs, see more than a few similarities between that year's 11-5 team that made it to the NFC Championship Game and this year's 12-win Bears team.
Urlacher — who totalled 125 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles that year — doesn't remember any areas in which the 2010 team had a weak spot.
"We had great special teams, good offense, a great defense," Urlacher said.
Urlacher noted the biggest similarity between the 2010 team's defense and this year's is a knack for forcing turnovers. The 2010 Bears tallied 21 interceptions. This year's team finished with a league-high 36 takeaways.
"The thing that stands out in my mind, and they're doing it better than any team has in the NFL this year, is taking the ball away," Urlacher said. "They understand the value of the football and they go get it, and you can see it's very apparent. It's important to them to get that ball, just like it was for us."
Hester — who had 40 catches for 475 yards and four touchdown receptions to go along with 564 punt return yards and three punt return touchdowns — said that, similar to this year's team, the 2010 Bears defense set the tone for the whole team.
"The defense is really carrying the weight," Hester said. "But the offense is really starting to feed off the defense, and that's the type of team we had."
Outside of the box scores, both former Bears noted that what might make the two rosters the most similar isn't the plays, but rather the personalities.
In reflecting on the Bears' last postseason team, both Urlacher and Hester were quick to note how much fun they had that season.
"The locker room, the players that we had in there, we had a great bond," Hester said. "Great group of guys that had fun."
Urlacher shared a similar sentiment.
"We had a great time back in the day, we screwed around," Urlacher said. "We played dodgeball, we were playing baseball in the locker room, we just had fun. I truly enjoyed going to work every single day back then."
Hester sees this year's team playing the same kind of loose football.
"They're having fun," Hester said. "You can tell when they're all making plays, they're chest-bumping and high-fiving."
The 2010 team ultimately fell to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game, but Urlacher sees a different fate for this year's squad.
"They could make it to the Super Bowl," Urlacher said. "They could win the Super Bowl. I mean, when you have a defense like they have. I mean defense travels no matter where they play. I don't see any reason why they should believe they shouldn't win the Super Bowl."