Four downs with Ditka
BY MIKE DITKA October 12, 2013 12:28AM
Updated: November 14, 2013 6:33AM
1. Why has Jay Cutler been so improved under Marc Trestman?
I think it comes down to fundamentals. Marc has him working on all the fundamentals of playing quarterback. You can’t just go out there and wing it like a gunslinger. You have to have fundamentals and know what you’re doing. I think he’s instilled in him that taking a sack is not bad, throwing it away is not bad, but turning it over will hurt the whole football team. I thought he played outstanding in the last two games. I thought his decision-making in the Giants game was as good as I’ve seen.
2. With the restaurants and now the Ditka sausage, you always seem to be around food. Where did you get your culinary passion?
When I was in Dallas as a player, I had a restaurant. And when I came [to Chicago] as a coach, I had a restaurant. People come in because of the name once. But if the food’s not good and the service isn’t good, they’re not coming back. I have to pat ourselves on the back: We have four restaurants, and our people do an outstanding job. The thing with the sausage, that’s all Vienna. It’s an outstanding product — and not because my name is on it.
3. The Bears seem to have so many weapons on offense, but it’s not showing on the scoreboard. Why?
The object is to win the football game. You know, the other team is playing, too. You can only get the ball into one guy’s hands at a time. I thought Cutler did a great job of getting the ball to Brandon Marshall. I know he hadn’t been the main target for a few weeks. [Matt] Forte is an outstanding football player and made some good plays. Same for [Alshon] Jeffery. And I think the tight end [Martellus Bennett] is one of the best tight ends in the league because you can flank him out. I think it will get better. But you have to be careful. You don’t want to get into catch-up mode every week. I’m excited about where the offense is going. This is fun to watch these guys.
4. Everyone was worried about the inexperience of the Bears’ offensive line. Assess their progress.
To me, Kyle Long is the real deal. You have to have an enforcer out there, a tough guy, and these guys are taking note of that. Listen, that’s your domain as an offensive lineman. You protect your quarterback and open holes for the running game. But the greatest feeling in the world as an offensive lineman is when you impose your will on that defender by moving him out of the way. That’s what they’re doing right now. Overall, I think they’re doing a good job.