The last time the Bears made the playoffs in 2010, just two players on the current active roster were in the league.
For some like offensive lineman Eric Kush, 2010 was still a special year despite being several years removed from the league. It’s the year he met his wife. For others, like rookie linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe, who was just in middle school, his priorities were just making it to summer vacation.
Here’s a complete breakdown of every member of the Bears roster and where they were in 2010:
In the NFL
Just two Bears were in the NFL in 2010 when the Bears made their last trip to the playoffs. Quarterback Chase Daniel played his first full season in the league with the Saints, backing up Drew Brees. Defensive back Sherrick McManis was drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Texans and played in 14 games for them in his rookie season, recording an interception and five tackles during the season.
A bulk of the current roster was in college when the Bears last had a postseason. Cornerback Prince Amukamara was tearing it up in his senior season at Nebraska. Amukamara’s 59 tackles and 13 pass deflections made him one of 10 unanimous All-American selections that season.
Linebackers Danny Trevathan and Akiem Hicks and offensive tackles Bobby Massie and Bradley Sowell were all two years away from entering the draft. Trevathan led the SEC in tackles during his junior season in 2010 at Kentucky and was named first-team all conference. Hicks was playing his first season at the University of Regina in Canada in 2010. After transferring from Sacramento City College, Hicks put up 29 tackles, four tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in his first year in Canada. Massie and Sowell were both nearing the end of their careers at Ole Miss.
Sowell, who grew up in Mississippi, said he didn’t follow the Bears or the NFL at all much when he was in college.
“Nothing crazy in that year, just my junior year of college,” Sowell said. “When you play in the SEC, and you’re from the south, you mostly focus on SEC football.”
Receiver Joshua Bellamy was a junior at Louisville in 2010 where he totaled more than 400 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Long snapper Patrick Scales wrapped up his career at Utah State in 2010.
While some Bears were winding down their college playing days and prepping for the league, others were just getting their first significant college snaps under their belts.
Running back Benny Cunningham had a breakthrough year at Middle Tennessee State during his sophomore season in 2010 where he rushed for four touchdowns and was fourth on the team in rushing yards.
Kush helped lead his California University of Pennsylvania team to a 10-2 record in 2010, but he’ll always remember the year for something different.
“I met my wife in 2010,” Kush said. “A huge year. We met at a party in college.”
Defensive tackle Nick Williams was still a year away from breaking into the starting lineup as a sophomore at Samford in 2010.
Offensive guard Kyle Long was in his first year at Saddleback College. Long would make his transition from defensive lineman to offensive lineman while at Saddleback before transferring to Oregon.
Newly acquired cornerback Marcus Williams was in his first year at North Dakota State where was named to the conference’s All-Newcomer team.
Linebacker Khalil Mack played his freshman year at Buffalo in 2010. Mack turned heads, tallying 68 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
Pat O’Donnell played his freshman season at Cincinnati in 2010 after having to redshirt the season before due to an injury.
Charles Leno Jr. appeared in 10 games for Boise State in his freshman year in 2010. Leno also got some snaps at tight end due to team injuries that season.
Trey Burton jumped onto the scene as a freshman at Florida in 2010. In the fourth game of his freshman season, Burton broke Tim Tebow’s team-record, scoring six touchdowns in a single game.
Cody Parkey may have had the most memorable finish to the 2010 season amongst current Bears.
“I graduated from high school and I went to Auburn and I won the national championship,” Parkey said thinking back to that year. “Obviously it was a lot of fun winning the whole thing, but it was crazy adjusting from high school to college.”
Taylor Gabriel started his college career at Abilene Christian in 2010 and was a fan of several Bears players at the time.
“I remember Devin Hester was going crazy, I was a big fan of his,” Gabriel said. “Matt Forte was here also in 2010, so I guess I was a fan of, not the Bears, but some of the key players for the Bears.”
Guard Bryan Witzmann started 11 games during his freshman season at South Dakota State and was a recipient of the MVFC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award.
Tight end Daniel Brown and fullback Michael Burton both redshirted during their freshman seasons at James Madison and Rutgers, respectively.
Receiver Kevin White played in his first year at Lackawanna College in 2010.
In high school
In 2010, Kyle Fuller finished his senior year of high school with top finishes in track and field competitions in the spring, and started his college career as a freshman at Virginia Tech in the fall, where he made 32 tackles in his first year.
More than half of the current roster was in either high school or middle school the last time the Bears played more than 16 games in a season.
Aaron Lynch was in his senior year of high school in Florida. He helped lead Island Coast High School to an 11-2 record and a trip to the state semifinals and earned a spot to play in U.S. Army All-American Bowl
Receiver Allen Robinson had just finished his junior season at the start of 2010 and got his first college offer from Minnesota.
“I was 17, so I was trying to figure it out, trying to get to college at that point,” Robinson said.
He’d eventually choose Penn State, but says he remembers watching the 2010 Bears team during the fall of his senior season.
“I remember some things about that team, even just from playing Madden,” Robinson said. “Bears had a good team, especially on defense.”
Center Cody Whitehair led his Abilene high school team to a 10-1 record during the 2010 season.
The following Bears were also in high school during the Bears last playoff run: linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, fullback Michael Burton, nose tackle, Eddie Goldman, safety Adrian Amos Jr., linebacker Leonard Floyd, safety, Deon Bush, defensive end Jonathan Bullard, tight end Ben Braunecker, safety DeAndre Houston-Carson, running back Jordan Howard, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, tight end Adam Shaheen, defensive end Roy Robertson Harris, safety Eddie Jackson, running back Taquan Mizzell Sr., offensive lineman Rashaad Coward, receiver Javon Wims, receiver Anthony Miller, linebacker Isaiah Irving and linebacker Kylie Fitts.
In middle school
A handful of Bears, were just in middle school in 2010 for at least part of the year.
Linebacker Roquan Smith, running back Tarik Cohen, offensive lineman James Daniels, cornerback Kevin Toliver, defensive end Bilal Nichols and linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe were finishing their final semester of middle school in 2010.