Six Bears Headed to Pro Bowl

Lake Forest - Winning does a lot to gain league wide recognition. The Bears were rewarded for a 10-4 mark and having the league's best defense with the most Pro Bowlers on the team since the 1990 season.

MLB Brian Urlacher and C Olin Kreutz each make the team for the fifth time in their careers.

Urlacher didn't go to the Pro Bowl last season for the first time in his career. He's the NFL leader in sacks for a linebacker with six, second on the Bears with 161 tackles and leads Chicago with nine tackles for loss and is second on the team in sacks. He has led the team in tackles in six games this year, recording at least 10 tackles in 11 of the 14 games.

Kreutz trails only Hilgenberg and his seven Pro Bowl appearances for the most ever for a Bears player at the position. Kreutz has started 75 of the last 76 regular season contests for the Bears at center including all 14 this year. His fifth consecutive Pro Bowl honor, Kreutz was an alternate in 2000 despite only playing in seven games and in 1999 after starting each of the Bears 16 games at center for the first time in his career.

Four players earned their first career trip to Hawaii: strong safety Mike Brown, linebacker Lance Briggs, defensive tackle Tommie Harris and cornerback Nathan Vasher.

The five defensive players selected for Chicago stands as the most since having that many named to the 1986 Pro Bowl.

Brown is tied for third in the NFL and second in the NFC among strong safeties with three interceptions. The first Bears safety named to the Pro Bowl since Mark Carrier went to the 1994 game, Brown ranks fourth on the team with 89 tackles in his first season at strong safety after playing free safety the previous five seasons. The six-year veteran is the franchise's all-time leader in defensive touchdowns with six, including one on a 41-yard interception return this season, Brown is the leader among current Bears with 14 career interceptions.

Briggs is pacing the team in tackles for the second consecutive season with 162. With Briggs and Urlacher the Bears have two linebackers in the Pro Bowl for the first time since 1988 when Singletary and Wilbur Marshall were selected. Briggs has set new career highs with two sacks, seven TFLs, 11 PBUs, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries while tying his career-high with one interception for the third consecutive year. The third-year player was a second alternate at outside linebacker for the 2005 Pro Bowl. The third-round draft pick has recorded double-digit tackles in nine of his 14 starts while leading the team in tackles in seven contests.

Harris has three sacks in his second NFL season. Chicago's first-round draft pick in 2004, Harris ranks third on the team's defensive line with 56 tackles while starting all 14 games this season. The Oklahoma product is tied for third on the team with seven TFLs.

Vasher is tied for the lead the NFC lead with 8 interceptions and second in the NFL. He has scored on a 45-yard interception return and an NFL record for 108-yard return of a missed field goal. He's two interceptions shy of matching the Bears all-time record for interceptions in a season (10 by Mark Carrier in 1990). Vasher leads Chicago with a career-high 17 PBUs.

The annual match-up between the best players from the AFC and NFC will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday, February 12, 2006.

We'll have player and coach reaction tomorrow.

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