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Four downs with Mike Ditka

Mike Ditk |  AP photo

Mike Ditka | AP photo

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Updated: February 1, 2013 4:44PM

What was your reaction to the Bears hiring Trestman?

I don’t think a lot of people knew about Marc Trestman, even though he had been in the league a long time, 17 years in the NFL. He was the head coach of the Montreal team that won two Grey Cups. So the experience factor is there. They have a guy who knows football, who knows the offensive side of things and will probably be a very good coach to work with Jay Cutler.

New Bears coach Marc Trestman stressed the importance of the coach-quarterback relationship. What are your thoughts on that?

The coach’s relationship with the quarterback? If winning a Super Bowl depended on that, I don’t think I ever would have won one. The main thing for me was imparting my vision of the Bears to that football team. And understanding the only way we could get anywhere is we had to have goals, and we had to have a way to reach those goals. Everybody had to play a part in it — the offensive line, the defensive line, the linebackers, the offensive backs and receivers. That’s the only way you can get better. Everybody has to be a part of it.

How would you size up Ray Lewis’ career?

You have to understand his career was marred by a pretty severe incident off the field at one time that really has never been explained. But if you’re talking about as a football player, yeah, he’s a really good football player. Is he better than Brian Urlacher? No, I don’t think so. He gets some benefit of the doubt a little bit with the leadership and the dance and everything — that’s become a big thing in the NFL. Will he be a Hall of Famer? I’m sure he will.

Is there a place in the NFL for Tim Tebow?

I really believe there is. I believe the kid kind of has had a bad knock from the media. Maybe every pass he throws isn’t perfect, but the guy is a winner. He’s a leader. He’s a class act. I would be proud to have him on my football team if I was coaching. I think he could start somewhere. Everybody talks about maybe he should be a fullback or tight end. No, he’s a quarterback. That’s what he has done his whole life — he’s good enough at it. People have a tendency to forget what he did in Denver a season ago. He got them to the playoffs. They don’t get there without him. I’m a Tim Tebow fan. I just happen to like good guys who get it, understand it and act right. He does that.

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