Last season, the 2018 Chicago Bears had one of the NFL’s best offenses and defenses, but ultimately came up short of winning a Super Bowl.
Now, heading into 2019 Bears not only want to top the performance of last year’s team, but the performance of one of the best teams in franchise and league history, the 1985 Bears.
Speaking to SiriusXM, safety Eddie Jackson made clear what the team’s goals are heading into its 100th season.
“Our goal right now for defense is to be No. 1 across the board,” Jackson said. “Like I told them earlier, shout out to the ’85 Bears, but we want to top everything they’ve done.”
Led by head coach Mike Ditka, the 1985 Chicago Bears led the league in numerous defensive categories en route to a 15-1 season and the franchise’s lone Super Bowl victory.
Defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan helped coach Mike Singletary, Richard Dent and Otis Wilson to some of their best seasons of their career that year.
‘We have everything to prove’
Despite the 12-4 record last season with a NFC North title to match, there is still a lot to prove.
After winning the final four games of the season, the Bears lost 16-15 to the Philadelphia Eagles in the opening round of the NFC playoffs.
“We have everything to prove. We went far last year, but came up short in that first-round playoff game,” Jackson said. “Like I tell everyone, that’s the fuel to our fire right now. That’s what keeps us going. Everyone’s seen and felt how great this team was last year. Now, everyone sees that it’s even better this year with the new faces added, the new coaches and just to see that everyone’s on board.”
In 2019, the team’s defense will no longer be headed by Vic Fangio, who departed to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos. Instead, Chuck Pagano will serve as the defensive coordinator.
In the offseason, the team inked cornerback Buster Skrine and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to deals, and used two of its five draft picks to shore up the backfield.
“I’m really excited for this year. It’s going to be something special,” Jackson added. “I stand behind what I said earlier in the season, we plan on taking this whole thing. We plan on winning the Super Bowl.”
The Bears open Week 1 at home against the Green Bay Packers.
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