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1985 Bears Coverage: Perry big part of Bear building plan

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 big part of Bear building plan

Sun-Times Staff

Originally published Sept. 18, 1985

A big example of how the Bears’ organization is going about bringing an NFL championship to Chicago, says the club’s president, was the drafting of the biggest player in the last college draft.

“We’ve very deliberately put ourselves in a position to take calculated risks,” Michael McCaskey yesterday told the Official Chicago Bears Gridiron Club, co-sponsored by the Sun-Times and WGN. “An example was our first-round draft pick, William Perry.”

Other teams figured the 325-pound Perry as a second-round pick, said McCaskey, “but in the draft room a lot of arguing and discussing allowed us to make the right choice. I think he’ll become a fine defensive lineman.

“The Bears can’t outspend other teams. Some teams own shopping malls and oil wells. So we’re trying to build an organization in which capable people can speak up with new ideas.”

Dick Butkus, the former Bears linebacker who now broadcasts games on WGN, said he likes this team better than the ones he played on.

“For one thing, they win,” Butkus said. “We didn’t win that often. One reason was that we the defense were always on the field. But I notice that the offensive and defensive players talk to each other – it’s team now. That’s a neat thing.”

McCaskey was asked why the Bears had not retired Butkus’ No. 51 jersey.

“We’d really like to,” McCaskey said, “but we have more retired jerseys than any team in the league. We’re running out of playing numbers. And I think the league is going to make a rule against retiring numbers. I’d like to find some other way to recognize players of Butkus’ talent.”

Linebacker Mike Singletary and WGN broadcaster Chuck Swirsky will be at next Tuesday’s luncheon at the Oak Brook Marriott.