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Posted at 9:29 AM ET, 01/21/2011

Gale Sayers rates Da Bears greats just ahead of Brian Urlacher, Devin Hester

By Cindy Boren

When it comes to modern Chicago Bears players like Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester, they don't measure up against Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary and Gale Sayers. Just ask ... Gale Sayers.

Sayers made his preference for the old-timey guys known in radio interviews Thursday and Friday. On "Mike and Mike in the Morning," Sayers was asked who is more dangerous, Hester or him. "It has to be me," Sayers said. "I ran from the line of scrimmage, also. Remember that. I ran from the line of scrimmage."

Sayers' stats, obviously, back him up. He led the NFL in rushing in 1966 and 1969 and is the only NFL player with a lifetime kickoff-return average over 30 yards. "I ran back punt returns and kickoff returns and I played a pretty good game."

Which is not to say Sayers is dissing Hester. "Devin is a super young man," Sayers said. "He's done a great job running back punts and kickoffs. I would not kick to him. I would find some kind of way to kick down the sideline because if he gets his hands on the ball he is so quick and so fast. . . . I think they will kick away from him."

Hester wasn't the only present Bears player who finished second with Sayers. On the "Waddle and Silvy Show" on Thursday, he was asked about Butkus' comment that Urlacher is the Bears' all-time greatest linebacker.

"Never. Never," Sayers said. "Don't even try that. Dick Butkus is blowing smoke. He knows. He knows who's the best, and that's Dick Butkus."

Urlacher isn't even second-best on Sayers' Bears list.

"Singletary was a great, great football player," Sayers said. "Brian is a great, great football player also, but he did not have the killer instinct Singletary had. Singletary was second to Dick Butkus, simple as that. I'm not going to say anything else."

By Cindy Boren  | January 21, 2011; 9:29 AM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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Comments

Y'know what, I agree with Mr. Sahers' assessment. And I love it when the old dudes pull rank and remind us that meaningful things did occur before, say, five minutes ago.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | January 21, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Gale Sayers was the greatest running back I ever saw...maybe even better than Jim Brown. Sayers was electrifying.

Posted by: LightSnowOvernight | January 21, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

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