January 20, 2022

Bears News

Robert Quinn passes Richard Dent for Bears’ single-season sack record

Quinn recorded his 18th sack of the season Sunday

Chicago Bears outside linebacker Robert Quinn hits New York Giants quarterback Mike Glennon just as he passes the ball during their game Sunday, Jan. 2, 2021, at Soldier Field in Chicago.

CHICAGO – Bears head coach Matt Nagy called a timeout midway through the fourth quarter. Outside linebacker Robert Quinn had just strip sacked New York Giants quarterback Mike Glennon.

For Quinn, it marked his 18th sack of the 2021 season, setting a new Bears single-season record. With the Bears already well ahead on the scoreboard, Nagy had no problem using a timeout to give Quinn a moment to soak up the cheers that rained down from the Soldier Field crowd.

“I was trying to figure out was going on, why did we stop?” Quinn said after the game. “For them to do that, I don’t know, I guess it just shows a little respect.”

Quinn has earned it. His 2021 season will go down as one of the best in Bears history.

The 31-year-old Quinn topped legendary Bears pass rusher Richard Dent, who had 17.5 sacks in 1984 and 17 in 1985 for the two best sack seasons in Bears history. Quinn also surpassed 100 sacks for his career, becoming the sixth active player to reach 100 sacks.

The Bears tweeted out a video from Richard Dent congratulating Quinn. Dent was on the golf course with his former teammate Jimbo Covert. Quinn said Dent called him on Saturday and they shared a short conversation.

Dent was quick to point out to Quinn that he only started 10 games during his 17.5-sack season in 1984 (he played in all 16 but started only 10).

“You look up his career and, no matter if he started 16 or 10 games, his career holds up on its own,” Quinn said. “That’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame, of course.”

Dent was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2011.

Quinn still has one more game next week to pad his numbers. He didn’t need a 17th game to do it, either, because he missed one game this season due to COVID-19 protocols. He came into Week 17 half a sack behind Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt for the NFL lead. If he were to lead the NFL in sacks, he would be the first Bears player to do it since Dent in 1985.

All of this is coming after going through the worst season of his career in 2020. Quinn had only two sacks last season. That was of little concern to Quinn. He has lived much of his life with a benign tumor in his brain. There was a time in his life when he wasn’t sure there would be a tomorrow.

One bad season wasn’t going to bring him down.

“I have some life stories that are a little tougher to come through,” Quinn said. “And, of course, you all know that overcoming a terrible season is pretty easy compared to being 17, laying in a hospital bed and thinking you might not make it. So, football’s football and life’s a little more important to me.”

Nagy believes Quinn’s turnaround all has to do with Quinn’s approach to practice. Nagy said it has been incredibly valuable for the Bears’ young defenders to watch how Quinn attacks each day as if it were a game day.

Fellow outside linebacker Trevis Gipson, who had two sacks in Sunday’s game, agreed.

“For a lack of words, he’s a warrior,” Gipson said. “He almost died when he was younger, and he’s still rushing passers today. He overcomes battles. That’s what he does. And I’m really happy for him.”

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.