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Four downs with Mike Ditka

Mike Ditk |  AP photo

Mike Ditka | AP photo

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Updated: December 28, 2012 10:06PM

1. Bears coach Lovie Smith continues to be on the hot seat, at least with fans. What could he have done differently to keep the Bears on track after a 7-1 start?

I don’t think the start was all that terrific at 7-1. A lot of the start was the way they got turnovers and turned them into points. You need to understand that all Lovie does is coach. He can’t play. They have had a number of injuries that have hurt them a little bit, there is no question about that, but they haven’t had a lot of offensive production. You can blame anybody you want to, but blaming the head coach seems a little silly to me. They simply haven’t played well enough in a couple of areas to win any more games.

2. We are nearing January with no NHL. Did the owners make a mistake with such a lengthy lockout?

I don’t think the owners made a bigger mistake than what the players made. They all made a mistake. Sometimes you have to put everything on the back burner. Both sides dug their heels in the sand. I don’t know who’s right — owners have a right to make money, players want to make as much money as they can for as long as they can. But it’s going to be hard for the NHL. I see a lot of people who are great hockey fans, myself included, and when it’s not there, you don’t think about it. It’s going to be hard to get it back right away.

3. NIU has taken heat for being in the Orange Bowl. Do the Huskies belong in such a key BCS bowl game?

Absolutely. They have earned the right to be there, no question about it. Their quarterback, Jordan Lynch, is pretty damn good.

4. There has been much speculation on Brian Urlacher’s future. Should the Bears part ways after this season?

There is no loyalty in sports. I would like to see Brian hang around. I don’t know if he will, I don’t know if they want him to, but I think if he wants another year, you have to give it to him. You are talking about a class individual who has done nothing but great things for the team. I think it would be wrong to get rid of him.

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