Will Dent return?

The Bears pass rush or Sunday crawl produced just 18 sacks in 2003, which is the lowest amount in franchise history.

Alex Brown led the team with 5.5 sacks. While that is an improvement from Brown's 2.5 during his rookie campaign, his total is the lowest to lead the team since 1972.

Still Brown is a big fan of Richard Dent, who completed his first season as the Bears assistant defensive line coach. There is a chance that Dent might not be retained by new head coach Lovie Smith, but if the choice were in Brown's hands it's clear what he would decide.

"I think he's taught us what he knows and if sees something that we're doing he'll put in his input," Brown said of Dent. "He'll let us know how we can get better at that, but he doesn't try to change the way we do things. Take out of it what you will and use it to your advantage because when the game comes you have to go out there and play. He's been a great help. When you come off the field he really understands what's going on out there."

As a player, Dent was the Bears all time sacks leader with 124.5 and MVP of Super Bowl XX. He spent 12 years in a Bear 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. By the end of the month he will find out if he will become a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dent could become a valuable mentor for Brown and Michael Haynes as the young duo will be counted on to put pressure on the quarterback.

Brown took steps to become more of an all-around player. Not known as a run stuffer coming out of Florida, Brown led the defensive line with 79 tackles (61 solo) and added 6 tackles for loss, 3 passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one interception.

In order for the Bears defense to take another step forward next season, Brown will have to become a double-digit sack producer.


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