Linebacker, Chicago Bears
Age: 30 (Oct. 9)
8th 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 and he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985, a season in which the Bears achieved victory in the Super Bowl. 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.
1988 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]
Sacks – 1
Interceptions – 1
Int. yards – 13
Int. TDs – 0
Fumble recoveries – 1
Fumble recovery TDs – 0
Tackles – 170
Postseason: 2 G
Sacks – 0
Interceptions – 0
TD – 0
Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Bears went 12-4 to finish first in the NFC Central while leading the NFL in fewest rushing yards (1326) and fewest points allowed (215). Won NFC Divisional playoff over Philadelphia Eagles (20-12). Lost NFC Championship to San Francisco 49ers (28-3).
Singletary played for another four seasons and went to the Pro Bowl after each while also continuing to be a consensus first-team All-NFL selection in two of the next three years (a total of seven times overall, in addition to the 10 Pro Bowl selections), a tribute to his toughness and work ethic. He 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.