Destined for Canton

Bears assistant defensive line coach Richard Dent was nominated recently as a candidate for the NFL Hall of Fame. As a player, Dent was the Bears all time sacks leader and MVP of Super Bowl XX. He joined the Bears as a coach in April of 2003.

Dent spent 12 years in a Bears uniform and recorded double-digit sack totals during each season from 1984-1988. His career total of 137.5 sacks ranks fifth in all time NFL history behind only Reggie White, Bruce Smith, Kevin Greene, and Chris Doleman.

Dent was drafted by the Bears in the eighth round of the 1983 draft and quickly became a vital part of a defense that played in three NFC Championship games and won Super Bowl XX. He was selected as a Pro Bowler four times. After playing with the Bears, Dent also played with San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia. During his 15-year career, Dent played in 203 games with 151 starts, recording a total of 675 tackles, 8 interceptions, 38 forced fumbles, 13 fumble recoveries and one touchdown.

"It is an honor to have been selected as a candidate for the NFL Hall of Fame" Dent said Wednesday. "I really look forward to have the opportunity to be one of that select group."

Looking back on his career, Dent felt that much of his success came as the result of great coaching and skilled teammates.

"I was lucky enough during my career to play with a lot of great guys," he said. "The coaching was excellent as well. We worked together and put in the time to do our best out there on the field. It took considerable effort to reach the level we were able to achieve. To have that recognized now is a very special thing. Any time that a player has the chance to join the legends who are in the Hall of Fame is thrilling."

Dent was also nominated for the Hall of Fame honor in 2002,but was not chosen to advance to the final selection round.

"Last year was the first year that I was available to be part of this process," Dent said. "It's good to have been nominated again this year. I didn't make the finals then, but we'll see what happens this year. "

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