When creating this article, my knee-jerk decision for best Chicago Bears center of all time was Jay Hilgenberg.
Hilgenberg was a seven-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection.
He anchored one of the great offensive lines in NFL history. He blocked for Walter Payton. From 1984-1991, he played every game for the Bears. In such a tough position, that is an accomplishment nothing short of amazing. He wears a Superbowl ring.
You can't deny Hilgenberg's greatness.
Then there was Clyde "Bulldog" Turner.
He was a six-time selection for All-Pro, and he played both ways. Since his linebacker efforts don't really count here, I'll just mention it because it is so cool.
What he did at center was help the Bears to Championships in 1940, 1941, 1943 and 1946. He was a beast of a man, and he rarely missed a snap. He played a total of 13 seasons for the Bears and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1966.
So, while Jay Hilgenberg is the Bear of my youth and an incredible player, the nod for starting ALL-TIME center goes to the "Bulldog." I'd like to have Jay on as a back-up though. Can we do that? I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention the center for the all-2000 NFL team and four time Pro-Bowler, Olin Kruetz.
Believe me, this was a tough decision.