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Four downs with Ditka

Mike Ditk |  AP photo

Mike Ditka | AP photo

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Updated: March 3, 2014 5:31PM



1. Twenty-eight years ago, you were preparing for your first Super Bowl as a head coach. What went through your mind then, and what will go through the minds of Pete Carroll and John Fox in the hours leading up to the game?

You want to make sure that you have everything covered. You’re not going to suddenly change anything — you are who you are. You have to dance with what got you there. If your defense got you there, you are not going to change a lot of things. You’ll try and pick up some of the other team’s adjustments from the film. I was just confident that what we did defensively would be able to take care of whatever they did offensively. And I really liked our offense. I thought we had a good offense with [Walter] Payton, [Jim] McMahon, [Matt] Suhey and all those guys. So I was very confident, and our team was confident. They were not going to be denied.

2. What’s the key matchup you’ll focus on and viewers should watch for?

Here’s the one important thing: This game will depend on how it’s officiated. Will the officials let the defense jam the receivers after five yards? The rule says, very simply, you cannot touch a receiver after five yards. Within five yards of the line of scrimmage, you are able to jam them or ride them. After that, you must release them. It’s a big advantage to Seattle if they let them do this. If the rule is what it is, then play by the rules. That’ll be the whole key to the game. The Seahawks like to get their hands on you and keep them on you. That’ll disrupt the Broncos’ passing game if they let them get away with it.

3. Who wins the game and why?

I don’t care what people think, but I don’t see this as being a high-scoring game. I really have great respect for Russell Wilson and their offense. I love what Peyton Manning’s done. Just think where Denver would be without Peyton Manning. Let’s start there. The last few weeks, Denver’s defense has improved. Earlier in the year, they weren’t very good, but they have improved significantly. Jack Del Rio has done a good job with them. But I believe the Seahawks will come out and try to run the football and then go to some play-action passing. Denver has got to stop the run. If they don’t, then there’s no reason for Seattle to pass, and they’ll hand it to Marshawn Lynch about 40 times.

But who wins? Broncos, 21-17.

4. Tell us about your role in the Pepsi Super Bowl commercial where you swing across a concert stage on a wrecking ball, a la Miley Cyrus?

It didn’t bother me. The other guys had their roles, and they wanted me to do that. You have to understand, they doctored it up a little bit. I had fun with it. I don’t take myself too seriously anymore. There would be a lot of guys who would say, “That’s beneath me. I wouldn’t do that.” Well, with me, it doesn’t bother me at all. I did it, and I had fun doing it. I’m glad the people received it as well as they have. I had lot of people comment on it.

Any other commercial surprises to look for?

No. I’ve been shut out. America will miss me.

Extra Point: Where will Da Coach watch the game, and what’s your favorite Super Bowl snack?

I’ll be watching at home and smoking a cigar.



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