Four downs with Ditka
BY MIKE DITKA May 10, 2013 8:10PM
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher scores on a fumble recovery in the third quarter. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan lost the ball while under pressure from Bears defensive end Julius Peppers. The Chicago Bears defeated the Atlanta Falcons 30-12 in the season opener September 11, 2011 at Soldier Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: June 13, 2013 6:36PM
1. What will Bears coaches be looking for in rookie camp?
More than anything, they are looking for a work ethic. They know a lot about the players already from film and everything. They want to see the attitude, the work ethic, the hustle — everything that rounds out a player. They know enough about the other stuff. [At rookie camp], the coaches get to see them up close, personality-wise, and how they interact with their teammates. They get to find out who the leaders are.
2. Do you think any team will pick up Brian Urlacher?
I don’t know what the thinking of teams is, but I think he has a chance, no question about it. I think Brian still has enough talent and speed, but his knowledge, his understanding and his anticipation still would be beneficial to somebody. Then again, I don’t know what the interests are and I don’t know about the salaries. But I know one thing: Players like Brian Urlacher are hard to find. Even if you only get a year out of him or two years, I think he could be very helpful to any organization.
3. Miami failed to get a stadium-renovation bill passed recently, putting the Dolphins’ future at risk. Can you envision Miami without the Dolphins?
No, I really can’t. I guess anybody can survive anything, but I can’t envision that. Miami has a great history with the Dolphins. It would be a shame to see a team like that move. But this has come down to stadiums and money and things like that. It would be a real blow to the NFL to see the Dolphins leave Miami.
4. Do you like the NFL’s crown-of-the-helmet rule?
I think the NFL is trying to do the right thing. But you have to understand this is football. You have to be careful that you don’t legislate hitting out of football. You know, you have to say, ‘‘What is the intent?’’ Most players tackle that way to get the opponent on the ground. I don’t think anybody is going out on purpose to hurt anybody or maim anybody, but the helmet has become a weapon in the sense that when you put it on, you don’t have any fear of striking someone with your head. You feel like you’re that well-protected. I think that’s part of the problem.