Peppers, Urlacher, Briggs, Hester make Pro Bowl

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Defensive end Julius Peppers, linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs and kick returner Devin Hester were selected to the Pro Bowl after helping the Chicago Bears win the NFC North.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Defensive end Julius Peppers, linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs and kick returner Devin Hester were selected to the Pro Bowl after helping the Chicago Bears win the NFC North.

All four have played big roles for a team that’s 11-4 and headed to the playoffs for the first time since the Super Bowl run four years ago.

The Bears made some big changes after going 7-9 last season, most notably luring Peppers away from Carolina with a six-year deal that included $42 million guaranteed and could be worth $91.5 million. He has paid off in a big way with eight sacks, 23 quarterback pressures and seven pass break-ups.

It’s the sixth Pro Bowl nod for Peppers and the first for a Chicago defensive end since Richard Dent in 1993.

Urlacher got selected for the seventh time, a remarkable comeback after missing almost all of last season with a wrist injury, with a team-leading 141 tackles.

Hester is once again making opponents pay when they kick to him after struggling on returns in recent seasons while trying to adapt to a bigger role on offense. The three-time Pro Bowl selection recently set the NFL record with his 14th career kick return for a touchdown. He leads the league with three punt return touchdowns and has taken five of his 12 kickoff returns for 40-plus yards.

Briggs is now the fourth Bears linebacker to make six straight Pro Bowls, joining Hall of Famers Dick Butkus (eight straight), Bill George (eight) and Mike Singletary (10). He is second on the team with 113 tackles.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

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