Okay, so it's not particularly surprising that only one Bears offensive player made NFL Network's list of top 100 players (Devin Hester, No. 32). But it's disconcerting that franchise quarterback Jay Cutler didn't make the cut. Or is it?
The Daily Herald's Mike Imrem wrote over the weekend that "The Bears aren't going to win a Super Bowl unless Cutler becomes one of the game's premier QBs. They might get lucky and reach the NFC title game like last season, but most years their luck will run out much sooner. Encouraging is that Cutler is due, perhaps overdue, to reach his potential as he approaches his sixth NFL season (if there is an NFL season this year)."
In general, lists are overrated, and the NFL Network's Top 100 is no different. It's filler for an offseason without free agency and in the final stages of a lockout. And ultimately, where Cutler ranks (or doesn't rank) in some NFL Network summer programming won't have much bearing on the Bears' 2011 record. After all, Chicago went 11-5 last season and won the NFC North.
Which, you could argue, was thanks in large part to its defense. And that leads us to this: that group was well represented on the Top 100 list (even though, you know, we don't pay attention to such things). Julius Peppers ranked 10th, Brian Urlacher was 49th and Lance Briggs was 92nd.
In a shocking development, Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones was unranked.