Bears Greats Olin Kreutz, Jay Hilgenberg Nominated For Pro Football Hall Of Fame

By Chris Emma–

(CBS) Two of the greatest Bears to ever snap the football are candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Olin Kreutz and Jay Hilgenberg were selected Wednesday night as nominees for the 2017 Hall of Fame class, which was announced with 94 names of modern-era players.

Kreutz played 12 NFL seasons, earning six Pro Bowl nods. He played 182 games with the Bears and was part of their 2006 team that reached the Super Bowl. Kreutz retired in 2011 after playing four games with the Saints.

Hilgenberg played with the Bears from 1981-’91, then played two more seasons with the Browns and Saints, retiring after the 1993 season. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl center and Super Bowl champion with the 1985 Bears.

Now, Kreutz works on the 670 The Score Bears postgame show, alongside former teammate James “Big Cat” Williams. Hilgenberg is an analyst on the WBBM Newsradio 780 Bears pregame show.

Additionally, current Bears assistant coach Kevin Mawae was named as a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mawae joined John Fox’s coaching staff under the intern program, which aims to bring former players into coaching roles. He was hired in September to the staff.

The selection committee will meet on Feb. 4, 2017, in Houston to vote for the next class of Hall of Famers.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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