Less is better for William "Refrigerator" Perry.
Although still one of the biggest players in the NFL, the Chicago Bears defensive tackle is quicker on the snap. He's manhandling blockers, plugging up holes and pressuring quarterbacks.The slimmed-down Perry - officially listed at 325 pounds - is having his most consistent season in his sixth pro year. And Perry's improved play is one of the reasons the Bears are 11-4 and playoff-bound after going 6-10 a year ago with a defense ranked 25th in the NFL.
The 28-year-old Perry is sixth on his team in solo tackles with 37. He also has four sacks for a minus-26 yards and two forced fumbles while alternating with tackles Dan Hampton and Steve McMichael.
"I think this is my best year," said Perry, who remains shy and uncomfortable talking to reporters, although no NFL rookie was ever more in the glare of the media spotlight than he was five years ago.
Perry, who got his nickname from a Clemson teammate, became a household name after Bears coach Mike Ditka featured him on the team's goal-line offense several times during the 1985 season, including against the Green Bay Packers.
But Perry's fame shrank after he ballooned to 360 pounds. This season, Perry was inserted at fullback against Green Bay. He lost a yard, but it signaled that the Fridge was back.