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.
To Raiders’ Long, Perry short-timer on offense
Originally published Nov. 7, 1985
MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. Howie Long, the All-Pro defensive end of the Los Angeles Raiders, thinks William “The Refrigerator” Perry will have a limited career as a ball carrier.
“When he plays eight or nine straight games at noseguard, he won’t be running the ball too much or running a fly pattern,” Long said yesterday of the 300-pound-plus Bears defensive lineman.
“If they asked me to do that play offense, I’d do it. But I don’t have any desire to do it,” Long said.
Long believes that Bears coach Mike Ditka was rubbing it in when he first used Perry as a running back against the San Francisco 49ers.
“I don’t blame him for that,” said Long. “I can’t stand the 49ers. That goes back to my rookie year.
“But it hasn’t been a case of rubbing it in after that.”
Perry made his debut on offense for two plays late in a Bears’ triumph over the 49ers.
Then, during Chicago’s victory over the Green Bay Packers Oct. 21, Perry scored on a one-yard touchdown run.
He also ran interference as teammate Walter Payton scored twice on short runs.
Last Sunday, Perry was a man in motion and caught a touchdown pass in another victory against the Packers.
“The guy’s becoming a folk hero,” Long said. “I think it’s a riot. The guy doesn’t look a pound under 350.”
Long also had something to say about his teammate and kindred spirit, defensive end Lyle Alzado.
“He’s got all the money in the world,” Long said. “He’s 36 years old and he’s still playing defensive end in the National Football League. He’s either stupid or insane.”