1985 Bears Coverage: Bears to see prototype QB – in ’86

SHARE 1985 Bears Coverage: Bears to see prototype QB – in ’86
SHARE 1985 Bears Coverage: Bears to see prototype QB – in ’86

View image | gettyimages.comEvery 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.

Bears to see prototype QB – in ’86

Kevin Lamb

Originally published Oct. 4, 1985

Someday, maybe next year, when the Bears are getting ready to play Tampa Bay, they’re going to have to deal with Steve Young.

He’ll be a load, says a coach who should know.

“Steve Young’s got all the tools – every tool that God has ever put into a young quarterback,” said Sid Gillman, the Hall of Fame coach who was Young’s offensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Express in 1984.

“He can throw. He is so bright. He can move. He is big. He is strong. He is a competitor.

“He’s anything you want. You go to mold a quarterback, you mold Steve Young. I’d have made a right-hander out of him, but that doesn’t hurt him. He’s terrific.”

But the Bears likely won’t face Young Sunday since Steve DeBerg is slated to start.

Gillman was Young’s tutor in his rookie season, and he said Young made him reconsider his firm belief that Joe Namath was the best quarterback ever to play. Young could surpass him.

His development was “nothing but going up all year,” Gillman said, until the last game – a loss to George Allen’s Arizona Wranglers in the semifinal playoff game. “He read in the paper about George Allen putting a price on Steve Young’s head,” Gillman said. “All that nonsense.

“I think he read the newspapers too much. I think quarterbacks should never read a newspaper. And a coach, for that matter, should not read newspapers during the football season. And not let anybody tell him about it, either.

“I don’t think it’s good for him because they’re all too sensitive.”

Whatever Young does as a quarterback, Gillman still calls Walter Payton “the greatest athlete I’ve ever seen.”

He recalls in 1977, when Gillman was the Bears’ offensive coordinator, the time Payton was walking off the practice field behind 6-4 assistant coach Brad Ecklund. Payton casually leap-frogged over Ecklund’s head. No running start. No fanfare. “Brad was bewildered,” Gillman said.

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