suntimes
INCONSISTENT 
Weather Updates

Mike Ditka doesn’t like what he sees on ‘D’

Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: January 10, 2014 6:29AM



Pair the current Bears’ offense with the franchise’s 1985 defense, and you’d have something.

“The problem with the Bears is very simple,” said Mike Ditka, the Bears’ legendary coach. “If they had my defense, they’d be undefeated.

“They don’t have a defense right now. They have to get better. Everybody that watches understands that. Everyone has to pull their share of the load.”

The Bears, of course, will take the field Monday night without some stalwarts from last year’s defense: linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, and cornerback Charles Tillman.

“That’s a significant drop,” Ditka said. “You’re talking about the best cornerback and the best two linebackers — the best two defensive players. You miss people like that.”

The former tight end, whose No. 89 will be retired by the Bears during halftime, sounded disgusted by most modern defenses.

He said many players forget tenets taught to him by the Cowboys’ Tom Landry.

“Tackling in the NFL today overall is terrible,” he said. “Don’t ask me why. There’s a lot of missed tackles in the secondary.

“People don’t understand what it is to set the edge, force the strong-side, contain the backside. Those are the things you understand on defense.”

Ditka, who called coach Marc Trestman’s offense “as creative as I’ve ever seen,” thinks the Bears can still make the playoffs.

A win gives the Bears the same record as the Lions in the NFC North, but Detroit owns the tiebreaker.

“If [the Bears] were to win these [last] four games, they’d win this division,” he said.

Detroit played with more discipline lately, Ditka said.

“The Lions are a good team, but they’re also a team that can implode,” he said. “They do some silly things to themselves. …

“It’s a task, yeah. But I don’t worry about what the Lions are doing. And I don’t think Marc’s worried about them.”

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.