Family Business

Former Bears LB Otis Wilson was the center of attention at the fan convention Friday night, but the spotlight this time was as much on Wilson's son, Quincy, a senior running back for the West Virginia Mountaineers, as it was on the Bears great himself. Did Wilson mind playing second fiddle to his son?

"Of course not," Otis said. "It just doesn't get any better than this. It's so exciting. I think I'm having more fun watching Quincy that I had when I was playing."

Quincy Wilson is heading into the 2004 Draft with strong credentials. At 5'9, 214 lbs. Quincy is characterized as being a strong, tough player with excellent instincts for the game.

"It's not that I am reliving my career through my son, but I am enjoying this chance to watch his development for its own sake," Otis said. "Quincy is a hard worker. What I am most proud of, though, is the fact that he is graduating on time with a 3.5 grade point average. A career in the NFL can be fleeting, but that graduation plaque on the wall is something that will last a lifetime."

At times, Wilson senior can sound like a typical concerned parent.

"I've gone all over the country to see Quincy play," Otis said. "Sometimes I am just cringing in the stands thinking ‘please don't get hurt.' The guys out there now seem so much bigger and stronger than when I was on the field. The game is quicker and more violent. As a former NFL player, I know that the potential for something going wrong is always there."

Longtime Otis Wilson fans undoubtedly remember the veteran LB as being capable of delivering some pretty hard hits on his own during his 1980-1988 playing days.

As part of the ‘Junk Yard Dogs' in 1985,Wilson lined up with the likes of Mike Singletary, Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and William ‘The Refrigerator' Perry. Coached by defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, this group stopped opposing offenses cold and led the Bears to a convincing win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

"Yes, those were great days," Wilson said. "It was an incredible experience for all of us. I am amazed, though, at how much that team and that defense still means to many Bears fans. I am recognized on the street more often than not. People come up to me to talk about that Super Bowl. Probably part of that is because there hasn't been another Chicago championship since 1985,but it was an outstanding team that made quite an impression in its time."

What does Wilson think about the new coaches at Halas Hall?

"I really haven't met many of them yet," he said. "But what I hear from the players is very positive. It seems to me that there's a new attitude for members of the team. They are looking ahead, talking about the possibilities, rather than worrying about how many games they might lose. Everybody seems quite upbeat and eager for the season to begin."

Does Wilson have any thoughts about new head coach Lovie Smith?

"I am familiar with Lovie from what he did at St. Louis. I like the defensive schemes that he was using there. They were imaginative and effective, and something, I think, that could translate very well to this team."

Just how important overall is the head coach?

"He's the one who sets the mood for the team," Wilson said. "We, of course, had Mike Ditka as our head coach. Ditka was mercurial to say the least, but he was an excellent motivator. You never wanted to lose while he was on the sidelines. Lovie Smith could have a similar effect. He seems to be a thoughtful man and a hard worker. He is driven to succeed and would expect that from his players as well."

Was Ron Rivera a good pick as defensive coordinator?

"An excellent choice," Wilson said. "I never thought he got enough credit from the fans when he was playing for the Bears. Ron is smart and he knows the game. He's a good listener and a fine motivator who will accept nothing but an all out effort from his players. I really like the fact that someone with that type of a history with the Bears is back now in a coaching capacity."

Any chance that Quincy could end up a Bear as well?

"Oh, it's way too early to know that," Wilson said. "But there's nothing I'd rather see. This is such a wonderful city for football. It would be great to have my son playing here right in our back yard. And I'd sure love to stop accumulating those frequent flyer miles. But wouldn't it be grand if both Quincy and Jarrett Payton ended up in Chicago? Walter would definitely be smiling down on us then. You never know. Both these boys have good football genes. It could happen."

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