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4 Downs with Ditka: Concussions, Tebow, Trestman, Bears’ offense


Jon Bostic

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1. What did you think about the NFL fining Bears linebacker Jon Bostic $21,000 for his hit, which at the time was ruled a legal play?

The league is making a big mistake. They’re really out of line on that. We all watched the play. It was really a great tackle. It was done the right way.

If you slow down any film or videotape, you can always say there was intent. This all happens within a fraction of a second. You’re not going to think about where my hit is. Is it up? Is it down? Am I hitting him in the wrong place? You can’t think of all that.

Guys, it’s football. I understand what the league is trying to do, but they can’t legislate it this way. The hit this kid made was a completely legitimate hit! The hit the kid made on the receiver in Miami [Dustin Keller] was a legitimate hit, and it blew his knee out and he’s probably finished. I mean, it’s football. I don’t know how to put it any other way. And if you play football long enough, people are going to get hurt.

How do you limit it? I think they have to examine the way they practice. If you’re going to play the game of football, you have to practice the game of football. And you have to practice at a pretty good tempo, so that every time you get hit in the game, you’re not getting hurt.

2. Tim Tebow did not see the field in the Patriots’ third preseason game. Will coach Bill Belichick keep him?

Belichick is a great coach. I have no idea what he’s going to do, but I would keep him. I would find a place for him for a lot of reasons. Talent-wise, I think he has it.

But I’m not going to get into it with all the Tebow haters in the world. There’s a million of them out there. I just happen to like the kid. I think he’s got great qualities of character and leadership, and I think you can always find a place for that.

3. Having met Marc Trestman and watching how he operates in practice, is there
another coach he reminds you of?

I don’t get to see a lot of coaches in practice. I learned from coach [Tom] Landry. I didn’t get to see how Bart Starr did it, but I can imagine Landry and [Vince] Lombardi did it the same way. I know how [George] Halas did it. I would say of anybody, he reminds me more of coach Landry because he did everything step by step and put everything in place the way it was supposed to be. He didn’t leave any stone unturned. If you don’t do it right, do it again and get it right. Make the players understand there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way. I think that’s what he’s trying to do.

4. Trestman said he hasn’t revealed much of his offense during preseason games. Is it possible to install a whole new offense without at least testing it in preseason games?

It’s possible to install a new offense without showing it in games. How well it works is the question because it’s untried. He’s probably holding things back, and I don’t blame him. A lot of coaches have done that in the past and have done it successfully. There’s no use showing your hand before it’s time to play it.

I don’t know formation-wise how much different it can be. I watched the practice. A lot of what they did was three-receiver sets. They’re doing things that a lot of other teams in the league are doing.

I’m sure they have an idea of some things they want to work on and use that will give them a better way to use their personnel. They have to find a way to maximize the talent they have, and I’m talking about [Matt] Forte, [Brandon] Marshall and [Jay] Cutler. I think that’s what he’s working on right now.

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