Linebacker, Chicago Bears
Age: 27 (Oct. 9)
5th season in pro football & with Bears
Height: 6’0” Weight: 228
Singletary was taken by the Bears in the second round of the 1981 NFL draft and moved into the starting middle linebacker position during his rookie year. While there initially was concern about his lack of ideal size, by his third season in 1983 he was named to the Pro Bowl for the first of 10 straight years and was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection in 1984. Initially taken out of games in passing situations, he became adept at pass coverage as well as defense against the run. Singletary’s ability to dominate the middle of the field was a key component in defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan’s stifling 46 defense.
1985 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]
Sacks – 3
Most sacks, game – 3 vs. New England 9/15
Interceptions – 1
Int. yards – 23
Int. TDs – 0
Fumble recoveries – 3
Fumble recovery TDs – 0
Postseason: 3 G
Sacks – 1
Interceptions – 0
TD – 0
Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: UPI
Bears went 15-1 to finish first in the NFC Central with the NFL’s best record while leading the league in fewest yards allowed overall (4135), fewest rushing yards (1319), fewest points (198), and most passes intercepted (34). Won NFC Divisional playoff over New York Giants (21-0), NFC Championship over Los Angeles Rams (24-0), and Super Bowl over New England Patriots (46-10).
Singletary continued to star in the middle of Chicago’s defense, which ranked at the top of the league for the third straight year in 1986, playing for another seven seasons and going to the Pro Bowl after each while also continuing to be a consensus first-team All-NFL selection in five of the next six years (a total of seven times overall). He was also again named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press in 1988. Singletary appeared in 172 regular season games and 12 more in the postseason on his way to induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1998.
MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself). Also includes Associated Press NFL Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.