Four downs with Ditka
BY MIKE DITKA April 13, 2013 1:44AM
Mike Ditka | AP photo
Updated: May 15, 2013 6:39AM
1. Are you OK with the NFL’s new rule that allows video scoreboards to encourage crowd noise during plays?
It’s stupid. The NFL . . . who are they appealing to? It would be like the owners working at their desk, and all of a sudden they encourage people to come in their office and make a lot of noise. It doesn’t make sense. The key to football is you want to be able to see it executed properly. You want to hear the snap count. You want to see these guys use their talents where they’re not tainted. Sometimes when you have crowd noise, you’re not seeing the player at his best.
2. Do you think Jay Cutler is the best quarterback the Bears have had?
You know, Sid Luckman was pretty good. Over the years, the Bears have been accused of having a lot of different quarterbacks and a lot of mediocre ones. Jay is certainly as talented as anyone I’ve watched in a long time. He has all the abilities of throwing the ball. The whole thing he has to put together right now is the mind with the game and the leadership. I don’t evaluate quarterbacks by how well they throw the football. I mean, my God, if you play that position, you ought to be able to throw the football. I look at leadership. The quarterback has to be the commander-in-chief. He’s got to be the guy the offense looks to and the defense looks to with respect. He’s got to be a Peyton Manning. He’s got to be a Drew Brees. Those guys have the respect of their whole football team. Not that Jay doesn’t, but that’s what he has to strive to get.
3. Would you rather take the best available player with your first-round pick in the draft or the player who best fits your needs?
I think you have to combine a couple of things there. It’s hard to pass up the best player available, but you have to do it by need. If you don’t need a quarterback and a quarterback is the best player available, you have to pick by need. But you still don’t want to stray too far away from that best player because, if they’re rated that high, chances are they are that good. It’s hard to pass on that best player, but if you have a more pressing need, you have to take that need.
4. You’re a golf lover. What do you think of 14-year-old Guan Tianlang in the Masters?
It’s the most amazing thing. And what’s more amazing was when they showed him at age 8 and you saw what a golf swing he had. It’s hard to comprehend that he’s 14 years old. This is incredible. It’s really something, and I think it’s good for the game. Just like when Tiger [Woods]plays well, it’s good for the game. It’s fun to watch.