When George Halas again took the reigns to run his team in 1958 he expected to again be a champion. When the Packers entered Wrigley Field on December 4th, 1960, with first place on the line; his team faltered badly (Bears also lost last two games of
Larry Morris is by far the best blitzing right linebacker in the league, while he still is a factor as a run defender. Left linebacker Joe Fortunato can also blitz effectively, yet he is also an able pass defender and tackler. Bill George is in his eighth season
The masterful trade by George Allen to acquire Dave Whitsell fills the right corner post. Though he was a safety in the past; Whitsell acquits himself well as he intercepts 6 passes, and is a force against the sweep. J.C. Caroline still has the savvy to handle left corner. Richie Petitbon is asked to change positions for the year from strong safety to free safety. Though he makes numerous fine plays, and is a punishing tackler, Richie is much better suited
A very pleasant surprise for the team is the play of rookie free agent Art Anderson at right offensive
Fullback Rick Casares still has his moments, yet he is just not the player he once was. John Adams, and Charlie Bivins attempt to pick up the slack, but they are just not as tough or talented as a healthy Rick Casares. Four years into his career and Willie Galimore has caught only 36 passes, but that will change this year as Galimore snags 33 and as always can break a game open as a receiver. Couple his receiving ability with his elusive running and he is key to the Bear attack in his finest season to date. The wisp only lacks durability. Experience is all that is lacking for lightning quick Johnny Morris as a flanker. He is improved at running routes, and catches the ball well. Angelo Coia and John Farrington split time at split end, and they both are inconsistent, yet have excellent speed and can get open deep. All-pro rookie tight end Mike Ditka is a powerful blocker, and an adept route runner with speed. Ditka is tough to tackle in the open field, and is only going to get better with experience, though he needs someone to get him the ball.
Since Bratkowski had failed to win the quarterback job on a full-time basis in 1960 and is traded along with superb corner Erich Barnes for Bill Wade. Ed Brown just cannot hold onto the job at the beginning of the campaign, thus Wade is thrust into the spotlight. He can make every throw, shows courage in the pass pocket, and is effective on roll outs. When Bill struggles against the Lions in December; Ed Brown starts against Cleveland and Minnesota. Wade comes off the bench in Wrigley to close the season and pilots the team to victory (23 of 34 for 355 yards and 4 touchdowns) as he wins the passing title.
WHAT THE STATS TELL US: Defensively the Bears allow 139 yards a game rushing in their 6 losses, and 102 a game in their 8 wins. The keys to victory on defense come from the ferocious pass rush that garners 34 sacks for 259 yards in the 8 wins. Opponent passers torch the Bear secondary to the tune of 90 completes for 1,335 yards with 15 going for touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions in the 6 losses. The eight wins tell a different tale as opponents complete 119 out of 239 for 1,829 yards with 12 going for scores, and the Bear thieves pilfer 16.