ProFootball Hall of Fame Class of 2020: Jim Covert

Wanda Wiedman,
NFL Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

James “Jimbo” Covert will finally be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, some 20 years after his first PFHF nomination in 1996. The former Pitt All-American left Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka with only one choice in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft. “Jimbo is the guy we wanted from day one, we put him at left tackle and moved on.”

Covert began his collegiate career as a defensive lineman in 1978. After a shoulder injury sidelined him and the additional recommendation of the offensive line coach, Covert switched to offensive tackle.

He had the job of protecting future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, who was quoted as saying, “There were games when my uniform never got dirty and games that I never hit the ground. That’s incredible.” In 2003, Covert was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Covert’s time with the Bears was special. Coach Ditka had great respect for his lineman, saying “You don’t get too many people who come along who can make that impact. He had the respect of all his teammates and all his coaches.”  He became the left-tackle starter on day one and named UPI’s 1983 NFL All-Rookie team.

He was an integral cog in the Bears front line, imitating a cement wall that would not go down.

In his second year, he was elected by his teammates as one of the captains and named All-Pro by Sports Illustrated. Described as one of the best tackles in the NFL, Covert played in 111 games and started in 110, with six fumble recoveries.

His character and gridiron dedication led him to two Pro Bowls (1985,1986), two First-team All-Pro, (1985,1986), named as one of the 100 greatest Bears of All-Time and placed him in the greatest Super Bowl team of all time with the 1985 Chicago Bears.

His achievements did not stop there. During his time with the Monsters of the Midway, Covert lined up on three occasions against future Hall of Fame pass rusher Lawrence Taylor. In each meeting, Covert didn’t allow Lawrence to break the line and get to the quarterback.

With Covert on the Bears front line, the Bears won six NFL Central Division titles and played in three NFC Championship games, including the Bears only Super Bowl win. He played his entire career with the Chicago Bears.

Honestly, if it were not for the special 20-member Centennial Class to mark the 100 years of the NFL, Jim Covert may not have ever had the honor to be named among the greats. His induction into the Hall of Fame has been long overdue.

The worst part of this terrible oversight is that every first-team member of the NFL 1980’s All-Decade team, with the exception of Covert, had already been enshrined. Covert no longer has to watch all other players get the knock on the door. It is finally his time to wear GOLD!

Welcome Jimbo, to the National Football Hall of Fame!

 

Follow Wanda on Twitter @WandaW63

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