Four downs with Ditka
BY MIKE DITKA January 12, 2013 4:19PM
Updated: January 17, 2013 9:10PM
With the news about Junior Seau and the fact he suffered from CTE, what does the NFL need to do to protect its players?
The helmets have become so well-constructed that the man who wears it is fearless, so he strikes with his head. When two helmets collide, something’s going to give. What the NFL is trying to do now is right. You need to keep guys who have concussions out at least a week. You need to be passed by an independent doctor. It has to be independent. If the doctor works for the team, it’s not the same.
What should the Bears be looking for in their next head coach?
You need a guy who will come in there and create some discipline. You need to have a law-and-order guy who is going to tell you what they expect. Here’s what we need, here’s what we’re going to do, here’s how we’re going to do it, here’s why we’re going to do it and this will be the result. It could be a special-teams guy, it could be a defensive or offensive guy, it doesn’t matter. I hear all this stuff that they weren’t all that good on offense. Well, they were awfully good on defense. Sometimes you can’t be good on all sides, but what they would like to do is be a little more balanced, run the ball, play a little better offense, continue to play good defense and take the ball away. Good coaches are hard to find. They had one, and they don’t have one now.
With the playoffs under way, whom do you like in the Super Bowl and why?
I love Green Bay because of their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, and their coach, Mike McCarthy. Green Bay has a tough task going to San Francisco. I really like what coach Jim Harbaugh has done. I think Jim is going to try to impose his will. If Jim can run the ball on them, I think the 49ers are going to get to the Super Bowl. Now, if San Francisco wins, it’s going to have to face Seattle again. Seattle is an enigma. They’re hard to explain, but you can’t ignore them because they do so many things well. The team that somebody is going to have to beat is New England. And Denver is not going anywhere. What a story Peyton Manning has been.
What’s your reaction to no one being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the writers this year?
Well, I guess the writers know a hell of a lot more than I do. I don’t understand how you can take something and it’s going to make you swing the bat better, like Barry Bonds did, or throw the ball better, like Roger Clemens did. If you’re talking about endurance or taking a pill as an upper or a downer, that stuff has gone on for ages. I don’t know what human growth hormone is and how much it can change a body. The body is one thing; the talent in that body is a more important thing. If you’re a pitcher who can win six Cy Young Awards or a player who can win seven MVPs, there is nothing you can take that will make you do that. You still need hand-eye coordination and a lot of other things going for you that no amount of medicine is going to give you. It’s a God-given talent. Not a lot of people have it. When you see it, you have to respect it.