Four Bears Earn Pro Bowl Honors

LAKE FOREST, IL - Four members of the Chicago Bears have been named to the 2002 NFC Pro Bowl team announced today by the League office. Center Olin Kreutz, offensive tackle James "Big Cat" Williams, special teams standout Larry Whigham and linebacker Brian Urlacher will represent the Bears in the annual AFC-NFC battle to be played in Hawaii on Saturday, February 9.

The four Chicago selections marks the most Bears players selected since 1992 when RB Neal Anderson, S Mark Carrier, S Shaun Gayle, C Jay Hilgenberg and LB Mike Singletary represented the Bears in the annual all-star game. The Bears have sent one player each of the last two years with Glyn Milburn earning a selection in 2000 and Urlacher earning his first trip last year as a rookie.

Kreutz, a Pro Bowl alternate each of the past two seasons, earns his first trip to his native Hawaii for the Pro Bowl and will be joined by offensive linemate Williams, an 11-year NFL veteran who has started every game at right tackle for the past seven seasons for the Bears. The two have teamed to allow a League-low 16 sacks this season.

Whigham earns his second Pro Bowl berth and first with the Bears. He played for seven seasons in New England prior to joining the Bears this past offseason and was the AFC's Pro Bowl special teams representative in 1997. Whigham, a special teams captain, ranks fourth on the team in special teams tackles with 16 (13 solo, 3 assisted).

Urlacher earns his second consecutive Pro Bowl selection. He has led the team in tackles in six of the last seven games and has posted double-digit tackles in each of those contests including a career-high 20-tackle effort at Tampa Bay. For the season, Urlacher has registered 143 tackles (90 solo, 43 assisted), four tackles-for-loss, forced one fumble and recovered two, picked off three passes and sacked the quarterback five times. He has scored two touchdowns this season, returning a Michael Vick fumble 90 yards for a score at Atlanta and as a reciever on a fake field goal hauling in a 27-yard Brad Maynard pass at Washington. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week following his effort at Atlanta and NFC Special Teams Player of the Week following his TD reception at Washington. Last year he was named the squad's first alternate and ultimatley replaced Detroit Lions' linebacker Stephen Boyd.

Bear Report Top Stories