Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.
Perry still has world in his hands
Originally published Nov. 20, 1985
On the trip home from Dallas Sunday, Bear linebacker Otis Wilson wanted to know who was going to ask Walter Payton “how it felt to be a kangaroo in a pouch.”
William Perry had done it again. Just when it seemed impossible to enhance his legend, America’s favorite gentle giant picked up his full-grown teammate like a mother bear protecting her cub.
Never mind that pushing Payton over the goal line gave Perry a 10-yard penalty instead of the touchdown he wanted. Even when he’s wrong, Perry is right.
Newsweek magazine was on the phone yesterday, firming up plans for its cover next week. Perry, Payton and Mike Ditka will be on it.
“The interesting thing to me is I see how all these women are so fascinated by Perry,” said personnel director Bill Tobin,
who championed Perry as the Bears’ No. 1 draft choice. “That’s what I had. I had an intrigue about him.
“Mike had the same thing after I was able to convince him. When he saw him running a 40 yard dash last spring, he told me, `Can you imagine anyone trying to tackle him?’ ”
Perry, who is 6-2, was a 356-pound defensive tackle then. He’s a 302-pound DT-fullback now. Trainer Fred Caito said the Bears won’t ask him to dip below the 300-305 range until after the season.
A passing fancy
They won’t ask him to throw the ball, either, Ditka says now. But how about throwing a ballcarrier?
“You don’t know how long it took me to design that play,” Ditka said, feigning indignation at a questioner’s irreverence. “That was a designed play.”
Defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan made a suggestion: “If they’d have just given him the ball, they’d have been all right. But they wanted him to carry Payton, too. That’s a big load.”
“Next week,” said Ditka, “we’re going to put him on his shoulders.”
“It could have been worse,” guard Mark Bortz said. “He could have tried to drill Walter into the end zone.
“He was just looking out for the best of the team. He had made his block and gotten up and saw Walter was in trouble. He was just using all the ability he had.”