Bears honor Ditka with last retired jersey



Former Chicago Bears Hall of Fame tight end and Super Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka will be honored as the club’s last retired jersey. The Bears announced that number “89” will join the 13 other jerseys that the team has taken out of use. The number will officially be retired during halftime of the Bears December 9 Monday Night Football game versus the Dallas Cowboys.

Bears Chairman George McCaskey said the choice of Ditka was an easy one. “Mike Ditka embodies the spirit of everything the Bears are about. He’s an icon. The last time we won the championship Mike Ditka was our coach and the last time we won before that Mike Ditka was a player. The organization knew it was the right thing to do.

“He revolutionized the tight end position as a player and grabbed an entire franchise by the throat as a head coach and willed it to victory in the Super Bowl. We have more retired numbers than any other team in the NFL. After this, we do not intend to retire any more numbers but we thought if there is going to be a last one, there is no more appropriate one than 89.”

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Former Bear Urlacher calls it a career

Former Bears: Lovie Smith and Brian Urlacher

Former Bears: Lovie Smith and Brian Urlacher

In the end, Brian Urlacher knew it was the right decision. After 13 years in a Chicago Bears uniform, wearing another jersey just didn’t feel right. So, after a uneasy separation from the only team he knew after being selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, Urlacher quietly exited the spotlight with a paragraph announcement via Twitter Tuesday morning (announcement listed below).

Urlacher seems destined for a sure-fire first ballot election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he’ll join fellow Bears MLB’s Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, and Bill George.  READ MORE

Bears draft class in tow with Long’s signing

Bears first-round choice Kyle Long is in the fold.

Bears first-round choice Kyle Long is in the fold.

The Chicago Bears have their 2013 rookie draft class signed, sealed, and delivered with the announcement that first-round choice Kyle Long inked a four-year deal with the club Friday evening. It continues a recent trend of having all the draft picks under contract prior to the start of training camp.

The Bears selected Long with the 20th choice of the first-round in April’s NFL Draft out of the University of Oregon. The 6-6, 313-pound Long played in 11 games for the Ducks in 2012, starting the final four contests at left guard.  READ MORE