The Chicago Bears stand at 4-2 after losing to the Seattle Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. Today, they are facing the Washington Redskins who are 3-3. The Bears are doing better than expected, but face a tough battle today and will need their defense to play at their best.
Speaking of defense at its best, I present Mike Curtis, a 4 time Pro-Bowler. He was also the 1970 AFC Defensive Player of the Year.
Curtis had an outstanding career, playing 11 seasons with the Baltimore Colts, a season with the Seahawks and his final 2 seasons with the Redskins. I find it amusing that he went from the young, first year Seahawks to the "over the hill gang" Redskins.
Curtis had the reputation as being one of the meanest players. He was completely friendly when I met him, however. Curtis had a big smile and was happy to discuss football with me.
Everyone knows the conversation always starts with Ray Nitschke and Dick Butkus, but I wanted to see who else he thought was in that team picture. Curtis mentioned Chris Hanburger, Ted Hendricks and Bill Bergey as being talented and productive, although none really matched the ferocity. I respected his thoughts as they seemed genuine, not like a bitter old player. Curtis doesn't need bitterness. His reputation and place in football history is secure.
Hopefully, the Bears defense will produce like Curtis (and Butkus) did. A great defense has always helped carry a questionable Bears offense.
Mike Curtis and me in Oaks, PA-October 2009.