Chicago Sun-Times

Tommie Harris agrees to four-year extension

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The Sun-Times has learned that three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Tommie Harris has agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension that will keep him in place through 2012.

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66 Comments

About time we have something to be excited about! No more "addition by subtraction" or "let's make lemonade" news for the team. Tommie is a more important cog in the future of the defense than any other player on the defensive line, and will be the lynchpin of what we do for the next 5 seasons. Now all we need are a QB, WR, a LG, and some stability at RB. Woohoo!!!

This is great news!! Tommie Harris is the top defensive tackle on the Bears d-line, heck, maybe even the entire league. One of my favorite policies of Angelo, has always been the rewarding their own. Angelo has certainly been doing this. Who would have thought the Bears would have resigned Briggs and Harris this off season? Now the Bears basically have their intire defensive core signed, and for awhile. If healthy, this unit will dominate, and I believe Harris is a major reason why. You cannot dream of a better cover 2, gap shooting, defensive tackle. How dare you try. Like I said, "this is great news" and an off-season victory for the Bears. Harris, along with rookie Marcus Harrision, who I'm big on, are going to be a great tandem, GO HARRIS and GO BEARS!!

Heck Yeay!!!!

Great news! Now with this contract situation out the way here's hoping that Harris can stay healthy. I really like the 4 yr deal this is good for both parties.

highest paid DT in the league...NOW DO WORK!

Only 25 years old and heart of gold. Love this kid

Hey this is good stuff! Give the Bears credit for locking up an elite player through his prime years. Also give Harris credit for playing the "game" like a pro you feel good about keeping around. He got an elite value contract without going all Briggs and hurting the team. Now, about Hester........

I am not sure I have ever seen the Bears this aggressive in signing their own players ever! Give them credit for this big time.
I give JA alot of credit for this move! Yeop, this one makes up for alot of crap.
Now Then, Let's see Manning throw against our D!

Any news on the breakdown of the contract?

Is this really a 5 year deal, like peanut and vasher last year, where they keep the integrity of the rookie deal?

Or a replacement of it with almost a $10 mill cap # each year?

thanks

40 mil over 4 years, 27 mil guaranteed in the first 3 years. Thats a much smaller contract then I thought he would get.

Kevin Harrison is currently Harris's backup which still makes Dusty the only real NT on the team. There not a tandem and they probably wont see much time together. Wait I take that back if Dusty gets hurt yet again they could use him as a backup to Dusty he does play 2 tech but he is not that good at it and his natural position is 3 tech. I would like to know were Idonije fits in to all this, he looks like a 3-4 DE not a 4-3 DT. Whats really strange is that outside of Harris(I'll skip Adams because he sucks so bad)the Bears have no game time experience at the position. Harrison is a Rookie, Toeaina hardly played, Dusty has only played half a game in two years and Idonije is a special team DE he they converted to a DT this off season but has almost no real experience at the position, they also have 3 players with major injury history's. Granted Harris will be the strength on the line but if he gets hurt, the DT position is in big trouble, he pulls double teams on every play and they still have problems pressuring the QB and stopping the run when he is healthy.

The Dline is now set, the safety's are set, the corner's are set, the nickle is set, two out of three linebackers are set. Get Urlacher done and the this championship caliber D will be #1 in the NFL for 2008 (barring sinificant injury).

Great job getting HArris back on track

Harris, Hester, Urlacher. Lets get-r-done boyz!!! One more notch under the belt. We have to stop being cheap and start realizing the importance of what we have going on. Hopefully the momentum wont end with harris. Hurah. Go Bears.

This looks good for Harris; good solid contract, short enough in years so he should not be looking to re-negotiate like everyone else does when other players get better or for (some teams) worse deals. Plenty of guaranteed money should make him happy and one if not the highest paid d-lineman in the league for those years...Next up Hester, a 3-yr deal with $15-19 guaranteed should do the trick, he would be highly compensated, with opportunity to get more in future if he pans out at receiver, if not Bears are not on hook long-term to returner for high salary...Like it or not the money man the Bears have right now does an excellent job...
As for the backfield until these guys put some pads on I'm still not convinced, and I hope Lovie isn't either we need strong run game this year, camp will be major, lots of competition, should be scraps pretty much everyday until somebody seperates themselves from the pack, o-line, rec, RB, and of course QB....Let's get this party started!!!!

hey hey!! Crap-ton here again! Harris getting a new contract is bad news! Why??? I dunno. But I am sure the Bears will loose most of there games...You now, just tryin to be posative. Oh, and I made up a player: Kevin harrison ladies and gents is now on the Bears team!

his name is Marcus harrison, not kevin, and he is prob teh back up for tommie at teh #3

At DT we have not only dusty, but Matt Toeina( who played very well down stretch), izzy idonije - who the bears said gained 20 lbs and will be more DT in 2008 after again a good stretch at DT late in year and also anthony adams
we are more than set at starter and depth at the Dt position

I won't worry about injuries because you can't. They can happen to anyone. I won't say who will fit in because there is a possibility that someone can catch fire this season. Or not. I just think it's a good thing to sign a guy who is constantly playing his heart out and who gives the team something to be proud of outside the lines. Don't worry about the worse thing that can happen. Because it might not.

i think urlacher will be next because he'd be a fool not to take what the bears are offering him. urlacher's remaining years look something like this
2008- 3.94
2009- 4.95
2010- 6.15 with 1.3 million bonus
2011- 7.35 with 1.6 million bonus

i'm sure urlacher's people are worried about the 85% play time on the 18 million dollar extension and what his pay will look like in the extension year 2012

if urlacher takes the deal his contract on a whole would be around 87.65 million over 10 years. (thats including his current contract with the bears extension offer. that averages out to something like 8.77 million a year over the life of his contract.

i think in the end he'll the bears offer but i'm still worried about his health

hester is another story, i think the bears might try to get another bargin season out of him this year and try to work out something the next. if he busts at wide out than the bears can resign him for less. i don't know JAs mind but he seems to know whats up.

i'm just happy we've got harris and most of the defense locked up.

Creighton, when I said "Harris and Harrison will be a great tandem," I meant, as a rotation. I also understand how you could misunderstand me. I realize on earlier blogs, I thought the Bears were going to play Harrison at the nose position. I figured with his 310lb frame, he would be a good fit at nose tackle. I did not know much about Harrison, during the draft I payed more attention to the offensive players. Once the Bears began their OTA's, I read the Bears depth chart, and saw he was behind Harris. All apologies, as Kurt Cobain once said. But on the above blog, I meant they will be a great tandem as a rotation, everyone knows the Bears rotate their d-linemen. They should be a good one two punch. At the nose position the Bears have Dusty Dvoracek and Anthony Adams.
Creighton, speaking of Adams, I beg to differ as far as Adams sucking. Before Adams injury, he was leading all the Bears DT's in tackles. Adams appeared in 11 games, with 8 starts. Adams had 26 tckls, 0.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery, not bad. Adams does not suck.
Creighton, I got a bone to pick with you. I notice on different blogs, you keep going on about how rookie receiver Earl Bennett has been quiet during the OTA's, give me a break guy! NEWS FLASH Earl Bennett is a rookie, most rookies don't contribute right away, most receivers take three seasons to come on. The Bears must obviously realize this. The Bears signed Booker and Lloyd for a couple seasons, this will give Bennett a couple seasons to develope. Creighton, you have heard of player development right? Like it or not, but not all rookies can come in and be starters, especially at receiver. This, by the way, does not mean Bennett was a wasted pick. Bennett might come on right away, maybe in two or three seasons, I think by mid season. Angelo did the right thing by bringing in a veteran like Booker, to give Bennett some time to get use to the pro game, and DEVELOP. Creighton, you make it sound like just because Bennett might not be a starter this season, he is a bust, your wrong. Creighton, have patience with Bennett, he will pay off in the end GO BEARS!!

This is very good news indeed. Even on one iffy leg this guy does so many things well for the D that he is worth it. Good job Angelo hopefully you can get 23 and 54 nice shiny deals by training camp. Maybe a semi-talented veteran RB too please.

Adams definitely does not suck, his good way outweighed his bad last year. unless Harrison Dvoracek are both broken/busted and Harris goes out early no way DT is a weakness this year. Unlike RB depth chart.

Great news! T. Harris is Bear for life basically. The defense will have a great pillar in it for years to come. The Bears now have A. Brown, Ogunleye, Briggs, Urlacher, Harris, Vasher, and Tillman signed for at least another 2 seasons. All of them are either perenial pro-bowlers or pro-bowl caliber in a given season. Good job Bears.

Urlacher can wait. Period. The cap will go up again next year, and then they can offer him a bit more. But he is well paid, and can be a little patient for this season.

Hester may be better off waiting till the end of the season to get an extension for his own good. If he signs now, then he won't get paid WR money. If he plays well at WR this year, then he will get more money... simple as that. Right now I would value Hester at 3-4 million per year. But if he was good at WR, then he is worth at least as much as Carolina's Steve Smith (maybe 6-7 mil per year).

If Bears stay healthy and the top 2 picks turn out to be good, then the Bears will be in good shape.

.....Just the damn QB.....

GO BEARS!!

IM SO GREATFUL THAT THE CHICAGO BEARS FINALLY STOP TRYING TO GET PLAYERS TO ACCEPT LESS.TOMMIE HARRIS IS THE BEST D.T.IN THE GAME PERIOD.THIS IS THE MOST CASH THAT THE FRANCHISE HAS GIVEN OUT. NOW WITH THAT SAID IT'S TIME TO TAKE CARE OF DEVIN HESTER; LIKE I SAID ONCE BEFORE YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR TALENT IN THIS LEAGUE AND THATS WHAT THE BEARS DID THEY KNEW THERE WIL NOT BE ANOTHER TOMMIE HARRIS IN YEARS TO COME SO WHY NOT LOCK UP THE ONLY ONE THIS IS GOING TO MAKE OTHER BIG TIME PLAYERS THINK ABOUT DESTINATION CHICAGO WHEN THEY BECOME A FRRE AGENT I MAY BE GETTING A LITTLE TO FAR A HEAD OF MYSELF BUT IT WAS A GOOD MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION AT LEAST I THINK NOW IT'S TIME FOR CHICAGO TO SIGN DEVIN SUPERMAN HESTER AND OUR FIRST PICK IN THIS YEARS DRAFT CHRIS WILLIAM;WE NEED WILLIAMS IN THE FOLD TO HELP MAKE OUR SECOND ROUND PICK MATT FORTE LOOK BETTER THAN CEDRIC THE BUST BENSON.I THINK WE STILL HAVE A VERY LONG WAY TO GO BUT WE WENT IN A GOOD DIRECTION STARTING WITH BRIGGS SIGNING AS A FREE AGENT.THIS ORGANIZATION NEED TO TURN THE WAY THEY DO BUSINESS AROUND AND MONEY IS THE ONLY THING THATS GOING TO BRING US THE CHICAGO BEARS A WORLD TITLE COODOS TO THE ORGANIZATION FOR SIGNING A CLASSY PLAYER LIKE TOMMIE HARRIS.GO BEARS GOOD WAY TO START TURNING THIS ORGANIZATION AROUND.SHO THESE GUYS THAT DESERVE IT THE MONEY.

IF THE DEFENSE IS ALWAY'S ON THE FIELD BECAUSE THE BEARS OFFENSE IS WORST IN THE LEAGUE YEAR AFTER YEAR CREATING TURNOVER AFTER TURNOVER IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW GOOD ARE DEFENSE IS. HELLO JERRY ANGELO, LOVIE SMITH, AND RON TURNER???

Earth to Mars?? U trade Thomas Jones, B. Berrian, and Muhammed for NOBODY? And u wonder why our offense sucks and no good quarterbacks are even thinking about playing for the bears! He has nobody to run or even throw the fricking ball too you dummies! THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE IT'S CALLED FOOTBALL!

Well let's face it chicago sports fan's we have a long road ahead to even compete with a real sports town like Boston that have real Owners, GM's etc that aquire the right personnel to win championships! We need people like Ditka or Parcells at GM who know how to build a team around offense, and not rely and spend theire entire salary cap solely on defense. While were at it let's release Turner as well.

I can't agree with you about needing Parcells or Ditka. Face it, Parcells and Ditka were guys who could get a lot out of their players when they were motivating them. But as talent evualators they are not that great. Parcells came to Miami and POed his best player and acted like he was a she. That might've worked ten years ago but guys aren't offended by namecalling when they make more than the guy calling them names. Ditka, in a firmer capacity as coach in New Orleans traded most of his draft for Ricky Williams. That alone makes you question whether or not he has it together. Plus he hasn't coached in almost a decade so the jury is out on that ability as well. Parcells hasn't won anything without Billichek I'm sorry to say. Just like Ditka won nothing without Buddy Ryan. As much as I appreciate what Ditka accomplished 20 years ago I can't keep drinking from his kool-aide. I'm not still kissing my uncle's butt for getting me that G.I.Joe with the kung fu grip 30 years ago. I appreciate it but it doesn't change what is going on now. The past is the past and the NFL has changed a lot since the last Bears'Super bowl win. We can't repeat history by following some blueprint that might not work with free agency being so prominent.

i'm sure if he had an organization that cheats we'd be 1# in the league.

belicheat looked like a genius turning nobodys and has beens into stars. teddy bruschi and mike vrabil could never start on the bears, even if they were at their peak. seau would in his prime but that passed him about 5 years ago. it's easy to look great when you know where to stand. the patriots will get exposed this year. their defense was suspect last year, i wonder how it will be this year when they actually have to figure a defense out.

as for ditka and parcells
ditka was a good coach but awful at calling personal shots, does anybody remmeber the saints?

and parcells is SOOOO over rated. when was the last time one of his teams won the superbowl???? 1990 i think. yeah he'll build you a playoff team that never seems to be able to get over the hump. the patiots, the jets and the cowboys. parcells didn't leave a super bowl winner to belicheat, belicheat rigged that one all by himself.

people want to get on angelo but what he's doing is exactly what he did in tampa, bulid a team with an amazing D and have an ok O with a game managing qb. we pretty much have that execpt for the qb. it took tampa awhile for figure that out and the same seems to be true here in chicago.

atleast jerry angelo has won a super bowl in this decade, parcells and ditka haven't. angelo teams have won more playoff games than parcells or ditka teams in this decade. you know the only thing angelo doesn't have is the star power that ditka or parcells have.
i'm not even going to count belicheat, you can't trust any patriot stats.

i may not like what angelo does but atleast the bears are a playoff reality. since ditka left the bears didn't have too much to look forward to until angelo and lovie came. we had that one season with jaron in 2001 but in retrospect that season was a fluke. so instead of talking about who the bears will get with the 1st pick in the 2009 draft we're talking about the possibility of a playoff run instead, angelo deserves some credit for that.

so yeah lets bring in ditka or parcells. we can have ditka blow an entire draft on another texas running back or we can have parcells who will build an ok team but leave when things start getting tough.

Earth to Mars?? U trade Thomas Jones, B. Berrian, and Muhammed for NOBODY? And u wonder why our offense sucks and no good quarterbacks are even thinking about playing for the bears! He has nobody to run or even throw the fricking ball too you dummies! THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE IT'S CALLED FOOTBALL!


Um, Earth to Big Bri...

TJ demanded to be traded, twice, the first time was after draft day 2005 when Benson was selected. The second was after his mini-hold out/mysterious hamstring pull while stretching prior to the start of the 2006 training camp. Fact is he and Angelo came to a gentleman's agreement that if TJ would play with out the baggage in 2006, Angelo would get his trade demand met and JA stuck to his word.

Berrian and Moose were not traded, Berrian left as a $42 million dollar free agent, sorry but he aint worth that much and that's more dough then Tommie Harris just signed for !! No thanks, If I had a choice between extending Harris or resigning Berrian, I'll take Harris any day of the week.

Moose was WAY past his prime, he dropped a ton of balls and never seemed to get open with the lone exception of the late TD catch vs. the Eagles... Moose was on the decline and needed to go, besides, Angelo got a little tired of Moose throwing the rest of his teammates under the Bus when Moose's numbers began to drop....

Losing Moose and Berrian are probably the best things that could have happened to the Bears Offense because it's time to take a page out of our arch-nemesis, GB Packers play book and start playing these young wide outs that just waste away on the sidelines. We have to let Hester, Bradley, Bennett, Monk and Davis get more opportunities on the field instead of just watching Berrian hedge blocks and quit early on routes while on the other side of the field we saw Moose constantly unable to beat single coverage and dropped as many balls as our QB's fumbled last season.

Moose would have made a decent TE at this stage of his career because of his size and blocking ability but we are loaded at that psoition so it was for the best of the team that Moose was cut loose.....

Joe, I like both Ditka and Parcells but I agree - JA and Lovie brought us wins (no Super Bowl yet) we LOST (earth to all dreamers)
But Ditka was not a good Coach - he had awsome players(See Ryan Leaving then look at the team)
JA and Lovie have got the job done bottom line- I just wish they would have broght in a good FA or 2 this year to get us back to the Super Bowl for a win this year with our awsome D we could CRUSH anyone!
BTW Ditka wants to bash TO and yet look at Ricky the guy he traded his team for. lol now I like Coach but hey be for real....

Although I feel a real owner is needed aka Jerry Jones - bash him if you will but TO,Sanders, Pacman etc..now those are FA's the Bears would never add a Moss or TO or a GOOD QB but if they did we would be at the Super Bowl asap with our D.

But - Thank You JA for signing our core!!!
Harris is a Man!!!

This on Football Weekly guy's

`After playing an average of 10-12 snaps on offense last season, we hear the Bears expect Devin Hester to at least triple his workload as a receiver this season. In offensive duty during 2007, Hester made 20 receptions for 299 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with his six return TDs while playing on special teams. '

THIS IS FOR REXY FANS! BOO HOO..AND THE PEOPLE WHO THINK DEFENSE IS GOING TO DO IT ALL BY ITSELF. Question? WHO IS GOING TO RUN THE BALL TO EVEN OPEN UP THE PASSING GAME SO THE DEFENSE IS NOT ON THE FIELD FOR 50 MINUTES.

HOW MANY FUMBLES AND INT'S WILL SEXY REXY HAVE? I SAY 20 INT'S AND 15 FUMBLES

Rex Grossman Stat Overview Passing


Rex Grossman #8
2007 STATS
RAT YDS TD
66.4 1,411 4

07' STATS

CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
2007 122 225 1411 54.2 6.27 59 4 7 25 66.4


2007 NFC North Standings
TEAM W L T PF PA
Green Bay 13 3 0 435 291
Minnesota 8 8 0 365 311
Detroit 7 9 0 346 444
Chicago 7 9 0 334 348
Complete Standings

Randy:

Good stuff particularly about Hester. As for the Cowboy's you wait and see but it is going to implode sometime soon, maybe this year. The Cowboys have won nothing in a long time and these FA's although granted are very talented are also cancers to their teams. I have watched TO perform great for a year or so at any given location and then the stuff hits the fan like it did in San Francisco and Philly. Lockerroom cancer, I say.

Don't worry, it will happen in Dallas too. I say let the teams like Dallas and Cincinatti have these ego maniacs.

I do believe in the old addage "all it takes is one bad apple to ruin the bunch". Well Dallas has more than a few bad apples now and when they pick up Benson they will have one more.

Time will tell on Dallas - But they really have to do it this year as they didn't make the changes to not win the SB.
You have to admit TO has not had any problems with Jerry, The guy does seem to be a calming influence.
I only wonder if Romo will get r done this year. He kinda slowed down towards the end of last year. But if PacMan comes on then watch out.
Personnally I like characters on my team (as long as they get the job done) as they seem to have a bigger ego and reason to win.
It was SICK watching the `boys' kill us last year huh! No Mas No Mas

OH missed the Benson comment - now that would be funny

big bri i have to disagree with pretty much everything you've said.
everybody on this blog knows i don't like rex grossman at all but honestly do you think if rex is "wrex", do you honestly think he'll beat out kyle orton?

if rex by some miracle looks better than kyle orton in preseason, then he deserves to start (i can't believe i said that) and maybe he's grown out of his "wrex" phase. i don't think that will be the case but it doesn't matter if he does or doesn't because either way the qb position is improved. good rex is better than bad rex and i think orton is an improvement over last year, either way it's better than last year.

as for the running game it will better. forte isn't an improvement over benson? ha! come on. even though our line sucked last year they still made holes and benson couldn't hit them, so i wonder how they will do this year when the line is improved? tait at RT will be light years better then fred miller, who just stood there. williams, a natural LT, will be an improvement tait because he is quicker.

other teams in the NFC north have a lot more serious problems.
vikings
do you think adrian peterson can stay heathly, he's NEVER played a season without being hurt? what about adrian peterson's stats dropping off after the injury last year, do you remember the 49ers game? if he goes down do you really trust jackson? do you think jared allen is going to make a huge impact, lets face it a new jared allen pops up every year. the year before him it was arron kampmen and he really crushed us in our two wins over the packers.

lets face it without adrian peterson the vikings are a sub 500 team

packers
hmmmm well arron rodgers has been hurt every season he's played and he didn't even start, he's taken enough snaps for about 3 games. don't forget brett farve made wide outs and the ones who left him like javon walker and robert freguson sucked without him.
without farve the packers are an 8-8 team, their defense is good but the secondary is old

lions ha!
without martz well be lucky to win two games. they want to be a power run team but the defense is so awful it needed martz's pass happy offensive to just stay in games. without him they won't be able to score enough point to win. they will be 2-14 at best

so lets take a look at 2008
bears 11-5
packers 8-8
vikings 6-10
lions 2-14

RANDY, I disagree with your statement: But Ditka was not a good coach- he had awsome players [see Ryan Leaving then look at the team]. Yes, Ditka had good players, but name a good coach that does not? Remember what the great Bill Walsh once said, "Jerry Rice makes me look smarter in every game he plays in." Also, last time I checked, Buddy Ryan didn't do much with the likes of Reggie White and Chris [all he does is score touchdowns] Carter, to name a few. As far as the Bears post Ryan years, 1986 14-2, 1987 11-4, 1988 12-4, 1989 6-10, 1990 11-5, 1991 11-5, and 1992 5-11, not bad, other than 89 and 92. Bottom line, Ditka finshed his coaching career with the Bears, win-loss wise, at 112-68, any coach that can win 100 plus games in the NFL, is great. I agree, personnel wise, Ditka was not at his best, but Ditka was a great coach GO BEARS!!

Kevin all I can say is that Ditka was Good-then GREAT-then very good and then he was back to good. In the end without all that talent he was underaverage. His time spent in Nawlings represent his leagacy as a coach. He's not like Phil Jackson who actually won something after Jordan. Ditka got us our Superbowl with everyone who was here in 1986 except a couple of fringe players and Ryan. QB was not as solid but everything else was and they should've won even without a great QB. We still had Payton. I don't care who your QB is, with Payton and the same D with the BETTER stats we should have won something for a few years after 85. I loved winning all those games but I was more disappointed watching every team take turns going to the big game while they went thru us, at home, most of the time. I know you like to look on the bright side in all matters and that's great, but the reality is that coaches and managers are judged on championships. Even the team we beat in the Superbowl has actually won more than we have at this point. Forget the cheating accusations. Because we don't know how far that went. The talent we had all those years were so one-sided that that should've been considered cheating in itself. Lombardi is considered great because of all those championships he won. So is Halas. Greatness should be about longevity and superior results over your peers. Ditka lost too much to others during his tenure. He didn't stop anyone else from achieving greatness when he was winning those 14-2 seasons. A LOT of teams went to the Superbowl for the NFC while he was coach. So that is not great-very good. Only great in 85. I wouldn't consider Lovie anywhere near great or even very good. Decent is about it. Decent to me means that you make do with what you've got. With the Assistant coaches he can muster up getting a couple of Division championships and a Super bowl berth and losing makes for decent. Between him and Ditka everyone else was just awful.

You also must add that Ditka ran the table against division foes who were very bad. We actually had more sucky teams to win against in the 80s. Remember all those 2 -14 Tampa teams we used to play against. In 10 years that's another 18-20 games that inflated our record. You have to consider the facts.

in the 80's the bears had to contend with great teams. the cowboys of the early 80's, the 49ers, the redskins and the giants of the late 80's. the NFC east of the 80s was brutal. if the bears were in the AFC they would have been to the super bowl for atleast 5 or 6 years straight.

I don't think in any other era was there so much talent packed into a post season. whoever came out of the NFC was truly the best.

that also makes the 85 bears one of the best teams ever because they dominated the elite. to me it's still amazing

William R. Donald, you conveniently forgot to mention that Phil Jackson had Koby and Shaq when he went to LA. Like I said, you would be hard pressed to name a great coach that does not have some great players on his team. Also, name one thing that all them teams that beat the Bears of the 80's in the playoffs had in common??... OK, I will, 49ers Joe Montana, Giants Phil Simms, and Redskins Doug Williams, stability and great play from the QB position. I gurantee if DA coach would have had a QB of the likes of the above mentioned players, he would of won a few more titles. Here's a test, name a Hall of Fame coach that did not have a Hall of Fame QB? I have a good example, who's not in the hall yet, take Bill Cowher, who compares favorably to Ditka, he won a long time without good play from the QB position, and what happens when the Steelers finally give him a QB? Cowher wins his first title. The fact that Ditka did win a title without great QB play proves his greatness alone.
One last thing William, I strongly disagree about Ditkas leagacy being in New Orleans. Give me a break, Ditka is a Bear and will be remembered a Bear, he went into the Hall as a Bear so GO BEARS!!

Randy, I agree it was pure pain being dominated by the cowboys at home last year. As for TO you are right he has behaved so far. Please note that TO behaved and was all pro material for the first year and 1/2 in Philly until he turned into the cancer of the lockerroom and was puched out by another player. San Francisco more of the same. It is the all about me attitude, me, me, me and Me.

Beleive me TO still has the me deal going. I think TO will be not so big this year, the league is watching him and he has missed some mandatory drug testing. Believe me they will be testing him every time he walks out of the restroom.

TO prediction less than 1000 yards and only 8 td's.

William R. Donald, one more thing. You told me to consider the facts, well here's one. Back during the early to mid 1980's, Jim McMahon had a streak of 21 starts, all wins, not all in a row either, the Bears lost some games without Jimmy Mack in the lineup during this streak. This alone proves, all them Bear teams were missing was stability at QB, and that if Ditka would of had stability at the QB position, he would of probably been more successful in the playoffs. And William, you especially as a Bear fan, should realize its hard to win in the playoffs with no stability at the QB position. My only point is, the fact that Ditka was so successful back in the 80's, and with no stability at QB, proves his greatness. Here's something to think about, can you imagine what could of been if the Bears would of took Dan Marino back during the 83 draft??!! ahh... what could of been..oh well, this was still a fun era for us Bear fans, and in the end, thats all that really counts, so GO BEARS!!

Randy, I agree it was pure pain being dominated by the cowboys at home last year. As for TO you are right he has behaved so far. Please note that TO behaved and was all pro material for the first year and 1/2 in Philly until he turned into the cancer of the lockerroom and was puched out by another player. San Francisco more of the same. It is the all about me attitude, me, me, me and Me.

Beleive me TO still has the me deal going. I think TO will be not so big this year, the league is watching him and he has missed some mandatory drug testing. Believe me they will be testing him every time he walks out of the restroom.

TO prediction less than 1000 yards and only 8 td's.

I didn't conveniently forget anything. I just said greatness can't be thrown around with additions and subtractions. Fact: Ditka was a coach for a few years with another team and what he did with them is an extention of his coaching record. You can't erase that. Fact; Ditka couldn't handle free agency. Guys were locked up with us until Marshall escaped. After that guys could go wherever they wanted. Ditka could not deal with free agency and free thinkers. That's what's changed over the last decade or so. He would not have been able to field those great players because they wouldn't have stuck around or tolerated him. His biggest mistake was being jealous of other guys making money with endorsements. He'd not talk to a guy who got an endorsement that he felt he deserved. That is well documented. He's the same guy who welcomed the Scabs and said that they were the real BEARS. Now he's all for the players. Too much of a hypocrite. The strike was his downfall as far as I can see. He just waded around until it was time. Guys didn't play as hard for him after that. He turned into a cartoon. I know the 80s were brutal but we had too many games with subpar division foes that really came back to bite us during the playoffs. What was Ditka's record against those other elite Coaches? They handled him very well. Look at the head guys in our division who Ditka had to face twice a season? No wonder he had a great record. It was padded against putrid teams. And Phil actually knew what to do with that talent which helped him accomplish those championships. Didn't Shaq and Kobe have another coach who didn't get them those championships? Having something doesn't gaurantee greatness. Since this is a football town we don't see what other teams accomplished by winning when they have because we are so hung up with the 85 BEARs. If Phil used smaller words or maybe grunted a few times he would've been appreciated. And with Chicago he won without a great Center. I don't dislike Ditka I'm just realistic with how he turned out and how he really is. And I would not call Big Ben a great QB. Somebody did but not me. Dilfer has won as many Superbowls as Ditka and Jimmy Mac. Where is greatness in that.

I love Ditka and the tough style of those 80's Bears, but I am sick of them. The fact that we still talk of their accomplishments speaks to how great they were. But I want a new team to be great. I think this current team can be good. Meaning they will finish anywhere from the cusp of the playoffs to winning a home playoff game. Basically anywhere from 9-7 to 11-5 is where I see them finishing.

Check out the scenarios:
1.NFC North vs. NFC south (Indy, Jax, Tenn, and Hous)
Min goes 2-2
Bears go 2-2
Packers go 1-3
Det goes 0-4
Tough division, but both Bears and Vikings have talent to split.

NFC North vs NFC South (TB, Car, Atl, NO)
Min 4-0
Bears 3-1
Packers 2-2
Det 2-2
Weak division as even detroit splits.

NFC North division games
Minn 5-1
Bears 4-2
GB 3-3
Det 0-6

Now the fill in games based on placement of finish in division previous year.
1. GB 1st; faces Dallas, and Seattle (0-2)
2. Minn 2nd; faces NYG, and Arizona (1-1)
3. Det 3rd; faces Wash, and SF (1-1)
4. Bears 4th; faces NO, and StL (2-0)
These games make a difference with wild cards, and it looks like Bears will have to win WC to get in with Minn so tough this year.

NFC North Standings:
Minn 12-4
Bears 11-5
GB 7-9
Det 3-13

Keep in mind the likely competition for the wild card will be 2 NFC East teams (take your pick), most likely NYG, and Eagles (Dal is loaded for regular season, and I expect Wash to take a step back). Arizona could be there along with either Carolina or TB from the South. But the East teams should beat each other up pretty good, and Arizona has to play minn, and the East.

Those last 2 games on that above list are basically gimme wins, and should make a huge difference come late in the season. THough they might start slow with the tough early schedule. They could be just like the 05 team that started 1-3 and finished well.
1st qtr:2-2
2nd qtr:3-1
3rd qtr:3-1
4th qtr:3-1

GO BEARS!!!!

William R. Donald, answer me this one last question, that should prove to you Iron Mike Ditka's greatness. Name me another coach, that went into the hall of fame at any position, and in doing so, being considered one of the best ever at his position, in Ditkas case tight end? On top of all of this, going on to coach a super bowl winner, and 100 plus victories? Good luck..... That is pure greatness GO DITKA!! & GO BEARS!!

end credits: William, you can go on all day about Ditka not getting along with certain players, free agency, and some playoff games left on the table. But when you consider Ditka's ENTIRE BODY OF WORK in the NFL, and not just dwell upon his faults in coaching & personnel decisions, he is simply one of the greats, as always GO BEARS!!

Kevin you can go on forever building up his resume and neglecting to mention the negatives that would reflect on his ability to be a G.M., RIGHT NOW. Who cares that no other coach was elected to the HOF as a player. There have been a whole lot of great coaches who never played the game that they coached. As far as I can see it would be better to hire a guy who never played than to hire a former all pro. The coaches who beat Ditka on a regular basis never even sniffed a uniform. My whole comment was that what Ditka did was so outdated that he turned into a guy who could not be a G.M. in this day and age. And as a Tight End he did well by Chicago standards but there have been plenty of other guys who played the position overall much better than he did. He's the mold for hard nosed football because of his highlights(the same 6 or 7) that they repeat over and over again. In the stat happy NFL I'm pretty sure that his stats are pretty middling when compared to others. Plus being traded would never happen to a true star. Who cares if he spoke out against being underpaid. In today's context he is no different than a lot of guys who wanted more money. Why is he respected for that but others are considered greedy? All I see is fans like yourself who gives Ditka passes because of his Icon status in this city. THEY want to forget that he coached another team for what,3 years. THEY want to forget as a player he got traded for a box of cheerios. THEY want to forget that he had no head coach experience but wasn't considerd in over his head at any time but others are refuted nowadays for having a better resume. THEY want to forget him siding with Scabs over his players and him calling them bums for striking. THEY want to forget about him chasing every endorsement opportunity and not equate that to the demise of his football team. THEY want to blame everything and everyone else on losing post season games but his inability to multitask as he was supposed to as a coach and THEY want to anoint him something that required more of his attention and better judgment. THEY want to forget his drinking and driving when THEY lament what is wrong with the players today doing the same thing. THEY want to forget that he had about 70 games with vastly inferior opponents and won a lot of them like he was supposed to. THEY want to do a lot of star gazing but not truth telling. Plain and simple Kevin, the whole issue is whether or not he would make a good GM. Do you really see him being successful at that? Are you still a THEY on being realistic on his chances?

William R. Donald, guy, calm down, I never said anything about Ditka being good with personnel in todays game, or back in the day. If you would of read my above blogs more carefully, you would realize this. All Im saying is he was a great tight end and head coach, an NFL icon. As far as a tight end, William, you do realize he was the first tight end to reach a 1000 yds right? Oh yeah, and he did it as a rookie!! I think THEY, the stat guy's, would appreciate that fact. I don't know if you have the NFL network or not, but they have a show called Top 10. On one of their episodes, a week or so ago, was top 10 tight ends of all time. Still today in 2008, they rated Ditka in their top 5. Heck, that means THEY, must still think Ditka was one of the better tight ends of all-time. As far as a coach, the fact Ditka won for a decade with no stability at QB, proves his greatness. Its likes the Bears said, hey, heres a one dimensional offense, and a great defense, now go out and beat the other great teams that are the same, BUT OH YEAH, THEY CAN PASS AND GET CONSISTENT PLAY FROM THEIR QB. William, believe it or not, this was a tall order, and Iron Mike still held his own. This was my whole point, and why I think Ditka was a great coach. For example, other than Bill Cowher, name me another head coach, from the super bowl era [1967-2007], that won 100 plus games and a super bowl, but the catch is, had no stability at QB??? Again...good luck. William, one last thing. I'm having a hard time believing one of your statements on an above blog about Ditka. You said, " His biggest mistake was being jealous of other guys making money with endorsements. He'd not talk to a guy who got an endorsement that he felt he deserved. That is well documented." Auh... my only question is, who do you think made the most money from the old video game, Mike Ditka Pro football????????? GO BEARS!!

Kevin, I am always calm. I'm also astute. Okay, you want me to read in your posts how you are just saying that Ditka was great. But you fail to realize that you knocked my first post because I stated that his inability to be a G.M. was predicated on his ability to have a keen sense of making personnel decisions. You agreed so why bring up his greatness in other areas if he didn't possess GM ability. The Ricky Williams draft would shut anyone up on Ditka's ability to be a possible GM. And he made that draft while he was a coach. Why go on about his greatness as a coach and him playing with 3 different teams. Oh I forget that you didn't mention that last part. And yeah I do have NFL Network but their coverage is so biased against modern players that I find it too onesided. The bygone eras still get the pub but I find it hard to believe that some guys who were all-pro in the 60s can even make a team nowadays. Even the great Papa Bear played several years and I find it doubly hard to believe that he'd find a team to play for right now. He's the Mark Cuban of his era. Own the team you can play ball. You also discount the fact that we played against the worst division rivals ever when we were racking up those 14-2 seasons. Having the likes of Fontes. Infante, Starr and Greggs got us those inflated stats and a greater sense of who we were but once we faced better teams we got beat soundly. We lost too many games when we had home-field through out the playoffs because we didn't face consistently competitive teams. You can blame it on everything else but it is what it is, or was. Guys we had on this team wouldn't let us lose against division foes because they played with a lot of pride. And Ryan Defense prevailed because they wouldn't let the other team's offense score. We could've gotten a F.G. in any playoff game and won. We didn't need a great QB. Even Dilfer could've won with us. And those Guys we had were drafted or picked up by Jim Finks. He fielded those great players. He should get more credit than he's received by the fans in this city. He got the majority of them here. Losing him as a draft guy hurt worse than QB instablity because he could plug in a talented guy. Once Ditka got his two cents into drafting we saw a drop in talent. I don't care where your draft position is. You can plug in talent. And there are books in the library about those situations I mentioned with Ditka having a problem with players for getting commercials that he thought he should've gotten. Mongo and Danimal got their legs cut off by him too often because he'd try to wheel and deal ads his way and be mad when they would get them. Book. Library. They also mention how Ditka would blame their focus after a loss and then they'd go home and he'd have a new commercial on TV. He was jealous of the Fridge but then again everyone on the team was in 85. Young, stupid, fat, non-dues paying guy getting all those endorsements. And coaches don't get 10 or 15 years to caoch one team anymore. Guys lose their job getting a team in the playoffs 3 straight years but not to the Superbowl, nowadays. We had crappy coaches who got 5 years to drag a team further in the ground. Look at the longevity and the record of those coaches I mentioned. Won't happen. Schottenheimer wouldn't have been out after getting knocked out of the playoffs like he did with San Diego if he was coaching in the 80s. No one gets reprieves like they did then. So that statement is moot. Just answer my last question and everyone can close up shop and go home for the summer. Would Ditka make a good G.M. for any team in 2008? Can he help any team as a GM?

Kevin if you go back to June 22nd you'd see that my response to Big Bri was Ditka's ability as a G.M. like he stressed. Where did all that other stuff about his greatness as a coach for the 80's Bears get questioned? Like I said, you took the time to relay what made him great 20 years ago. And I just mentioned how a few people like myself don't see the greatness that you constantly brought up after that. Now you can calm down, friend.

William R. Donald, first off, I wasn't even originally answering YOU. If you go back to june 24th you will see I was talking to RANDY June 23, 2008 2:10 PM, and HIS comment on Ditka not being a good head coach, which had nothing to do with Ditka being a General manager. I just made the point that Ditka was a good coach and didn't do that bad without Buddy Ryan. Then YOU blogged me. You went on about how Ditka had his 85 Super Bowl given to him, because he already had the players and Ryan in place, so he should've of won the title. You made a comment about Phil Jackson, I replied, and said, "Jackson also had great player like Ditka when he won his titles." You replied back to me saying, "Having something doesn't gaurantee greatness," as far as Phil Jackson winning his titles. My only question is, whats up with the double standard for the two coaches? You make it sound like Ditka had his title given to him, but Jackson had to actually coach for his. Also William, you do realize a HEAD COACH AND GENERAL MANAGER ARE TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT POSITIONS RIGHT????????? Your making it sound like just because Ditka wasn't good personnel wise, this makes him a bad coach, I don't think so. This was my only point to YOU. This seems like a big misunderstanding. Your going on about Ditka being a bad GM, and Im just sticking up for DA coach. AND ON A BEAR FAN BLOG NO LESS!!!! William, I could care less if Ditka could be a good GM or not, all I know is he was a GREAT tight end and coach GO BEARS!!

Like I said Ditka was handed a Superbowl team by Jim Finks and he did absolutely nothing "great" with it by himself. Thus the Ryan inclusion. You're right. You didn't admonish me for anything in particular. My bad. And I did say that Nawlings represented his legacy when I should have said that it is a part of his legacy. But for the people in that region they know him close up only for that. They don't care what he did for Chicago they only know what he did for them. Ask them about his coaching ability and they don't see what you see. He set that team back with some of the things he did as a coach with more power than he had in Chicago. They see a guy who looked very ordinary without everything that was handed to him. They saw that he picked a certain talent and surrendered a whole draft for him. Even stood on the cover of ESPN with that same guy who was wearing a wedding dress. Maybe you won't see him as a lot of people do. All those things I've mentioned over the past week is a part of his legacy as far as I am concerned. You did bring up some valid points and I know I did too. It was a debate that I really looked forward to because it did represent fans at their best. I'm just not all positive about everything when I know that there is some negative sprinkled in there. I think that our current regime gets the brunt of that negativity because so many fans are carrying that torch for 85. And I think it does them a disservice because they've done some good things but too many times it appears bad because of that love-love relationship that people have with 85. Come on, you can not be absolutely okay with everything that went down with that team? You have to know that Ditka contributed to that atmosphere? It wasn't just Jim McMahon's injuries that kept them down. The best game they played that sealed them as the best team was against Dallas in Dallas and that 85 team DESTROYED Dallas without the Mac. His ego wouldn't let any other QB take control and you have to know that. I have no sunny outlook about Mac in Chicago. There are just too many things that that guy did wrong that doesn't warrant me looking at him as some deity. Same as Ditka. The only guys I have a healthy outlook on from 85 to this day is Hampton, McMichael, Singletary (only as a player and not as a head coach prospect) Otis, Wilbur, Fencik, Dent, & Payton. All the other guys were along for the ride. The o-line kissed Mac's butt and didn't play as hard for anyone else as they played for him. He was a bad ringleader. What Flutie went thru was a direct result of having a selfish QB who controlled his players in a bad way. He circled the wagons and left a guy who was a winner flapping in the breeze. Not a team player as far as I can see but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who would down him. Why is that? You guys love to talk about Moose tossing someone under a bus but Mac did it and you guys still love him regardless. Fans in this city are just too fickle and when they love someone they fail to see the wrinkles. I'm sorry but I do. And I'm well aware that Ditka was only a head coach here and in Nawlings. I never said that he was anything but. I said that he could not help any team as a G.M. because he isn't good at personnel decisions like I said from day one. YOU do realize that personnel decisions is what a G.M. does right? And I made the first assessment that he didn't do anything without Ryan. So if I include myself in that rebut that was the reason why. And with the Phil Jackson assessment I just felt that he got multiple championships with different players including his core and repeated without a great center. And the fact that they revamped basically the whole lineup except for 4 out of 12 players during those years is saying a lot. We kept that core in 86 and didn't do it again. I just stated that Phil got a raw deal in this city from the fans for the various reasons that I mentioned already. And just because this is a BEAR's blog doesn't mean that everyone is loving everything about the BEARS. That's narrow-minded. You can't love it all. You have to vent and share information. Not everyone can take Ritalin and stay so upbeat about everthing. If no one else came to Da Coach's defense maybe there is a lot more people who feel the same way about his chances as anything other than a restaurant owner in the future. And like I said before I just like to tell those who think that Ditka is 2nd to the man upstairs, that he isn't that great. I'm still waiting for you to address the statements about our division during the 80s, coaching in the 21th century and Ditka's ability as a possible G.M. Big Bri started an avalanche by bringing Ditka up as a possible G.M. and everyone brings Ditka's coaching and playing ability up as some kind of barometer but what is the answer,Kevin? COULD DITKA HELP ANYONE in 2008/2009 and beyond as a G.M.? Or even as a coach?

DITKA DID NOT MAKE PERSONAL DECISIONS ON BEARS!

First Jim Finks, the hall of fame GM made them in late 70's and early 80's, then in a disagreemnt with halas, he was fired and jerry Vianisi took over as GM and personal director( from being a business manger on bears) in mid 1980's, not Ditka.. and then after halas died and Mike McCaskey got claws into team( worst thing ever!, imo), Bill tobin made the personal decision and draft decsions,after 1986 when viansi was fired- Tobin was't very good on bears, but has been good on Colts now.

Ditka's only foray into personal decision was on saints, which he was awful , as seen by his trading the draft for ricky williams among other buffoon moves. Ditka a great player, we can debate how great a coach he was( or just in right place, at right time), but nothing in his Career shows any aptitude about personal or draft decsions being any good, that is just the truth

Kevin:

Ryan, I agree with you. Ditka was a great coach and great tight end. His will to win was exceptional and Chicago dominated the Packers in his years as coach.

Remember, the D and special teams hurt the teams in the playoffs after 85. In 86 the Bears lost in the playoffs due to an incredible punt return Touchdown by the Washington all pro DB.

The Bears D was throttled by Montana in the Championship game afew years later when the wind was howling and it was below zero. The D should have dominated that game.

Who knows how many championships that Ditka might have had without these breakdowns by the defense and special teams. I already know the offense did not really do anything to win these games either, so what else is new? But the Bears always have counted on the D. Thats what Chicago Bear football is all about the D.

William R. Donald, as far as our division back in the 80's, not a good argument, I'll explain. First off, you play the teams on your schedule, good or bad, Ditka and the Bears still had to go out and win, winning in the NFL is not easy. I've heard more than a dozen coaches say this, so it must be true, and I really don't think it is, as far as winning being easy. William, if you still want to use this as an argument, then consider this. Take the old NFC west, the division the team of the 80's the 49ers played in. Are you kidding me??? Other than a few Ram teams in the 80's, this division was just as bad. Heck, the Saints and Falcons were the equivalent to an expansion team most of the time. The old NFC east is the only division you could use this argument for, they had two good teams, so maybe. Take the Cardinals, Cowboys, and Eagles, they were all bad for most of the 80's. Although, the Giants and Redskins had one advantage over the Bears that I already had a discussion about, QB play. In the end, I just don't think the state of the old NFC central division is a good enough argument. The steady QB play that the Gians and Redskins got back then, and the Bears did not, is. And William, before you mention this, I know the Redskins went through 3 different QB's, but the fact that their organization brought in three different QB's shows the disadvantage that Ditka was up against. Don't get me wrong, I love Finks as much as the next Bear fan, but this is one position that he failed to address as good as the Skins and Giants did, so disadvantage Ditka from the get go. Oh ya and the 49ers, how can I forget super Joe? I heard he wasn't bad.
As far as Ditka being a coach, HELL YA he could help some team, if given the right situation. William, the talent level Ditka had in New Orleans was ridiculous, I don't think any coach could have helped that team. Take a modern day example, Steve Mariucci, good with a legit talent level in San Francisco, so good results there. Put Mariucci with Matt Millen giving him personnel in Detroit....yeah, you get my point. A coach can only do so much, when it comes down to it, to succeed in the NFL, you simply have got to have BOTH a legit GM and coach, and Ditka is a legit coach. Proof, look what Finks and Ditka did when they were together!! Like I said, if given a legit GM, I really think Ditka could help some team. William, when it comes down to it, any coach that makes it in the NFL, is legit, but a coach like Ditka who won for a decade, 100 plus wins, and the super bowl, is really legit.
As far as a GM, I think potential GM's should be former scouts, and with a lot of experience at this. As a scout, was the potential GM good at finding talent? Is he good at bringing in personnel to fit a certain scheme that a coach wants to run? Little things like this, I think, are what go into the makeup of a legit GM. And actual scouting experience, is simply the only way to see if a potential GM can recognize talent. So no, I dont think Ditka could be a GM, but he still could be a hell of a coach, and was great.
One last thing William, yeah, its all good to get on the regime now days, although I don't see how it helps? But I think as Bear fans we should celebrate the accomplishments of past Bear coaches and players, not sit there and nit pick all their faults, this is what being a fan is all about. William, remember, as far as all the faults you bring up about Ditka, the past is the past, you can't change it, so why try?? Fact is, Ditka was a great tight end, he changed the way the position was played, before Ditka, tight ends were not used to stretch the field. Take his rookie season, 56 catches for 1076 yds, thats a 19.2 yd avg, are you kidding me, most wide outs would love these kind of stats!!!! Yes William, I don't bring up his days in Philadelphia and Dallas, but why should I? After his days in Chicago were done, Ditka already cemented his place in the hall of fame. During his time in Chicago Ditka was a 5 time pro bowler, he caught 316 balls for 4503 yds thats a 14.3 yd avg, again, I stress, these are good numbers for a receiver!! Ditka finshed out with 427 catches, thats close to 500, the mark all the great receivers use to aim for, and 5812 yds with 43 tds!! These numbers were unheard of back then, and Ditka was first to do this as a tight end. And William, give me a break with this he could not do this now days stuff. William...WHO CARES??!! The game was different back then, every one knows this. By you sitting there and nit picking away at Ditka is not very Bear fan like. Again, William, whats the sense in it?? Your only ultimately cutting down the Bears, the team you root for on sundays, right? GO BEARS!!

I don't see where anyone said that Ditka made any decisions on personnel while he was coaching in Chicago. That includes myself. A guy remarked that Ditka would make a great G.M. just because he was Ditka. So I mentioned that he barely kept his team together because he was so absorbed with being a pitchman for any and everything. Now that was as the coach. Why is that not the truth? Why do people always say that Ditka had some kind of super-human will to win. Mainly he was a sore loser. Nothing wrong with that. Throwing a chair thru a blackboard because you lost in cards isn't making anyone else at the table a better card player. It makes you the guy people hate to play cards with. So how much of his personality made those guys better players? Plain and simple those guys were just good. Do you honestly think that grabbing a guy's collar and screaming at him made him a better player? When he did it to Emory Morehead did Moorehead go out and catch a T.D. and barrel over 10 guys while doing it? I've read where McMahon used to constantly change the plays that Ditka called and ignored him and his rants. How can a great coach be ignored by an underling and still be considered great? How many times did they tune him out and did what they wanted to do? Do you think that McMahon told them in the huddle that he's the only one who should ignore his coach? I bet he told them all to do it. And I'm sure to a degree they all did. The more you learn about a situation the easier it is to reach a different conclusion than the ones who didn't. Did any of those other great coaches him any underlings who relished ignoring them so readily? While you are mentioning everything those others had that we didn't you have to mention respect as well. If Ditka was great there wouldn't be so many different excuses as to why we didn't repeat. "His will to win wouldn't have allowed it". The players dominated the Packers in the 80s just like they dominated the whole central division. I'm not going to blow that up any more than it should be. A great coach would've made all his players better. No matter who we brought in we would've had that same will to win that Ditka would've instilled in them. I know some of you guys like to reminince about the 80s but someone has to let you know that not everyone is going to keep giving kudos to a guy because his team won the Superbowl 22 years ago and did just enough to keep his fans salivating. If you knew on that night back on January 26 ,1986 that a Ditka led team wouldn't go to another Superbowl you would've been mad as you were when we lost 2 years ago. You know how people felt like it was our last chance at a big hoorah. It's like that one-night stand in your past who kept putting you off after that lone night and you thought there would be more. If you knew that that was it your heart wouldn't be so broken. And you would see that person for what they were. See, where I'm going with this? And statistically the D was even better in 86 than it was in 85. We even got back 2 all-pro players and only lost Leslie Frazier. If they let the city down by not repeating, blame has to be spread more generously. I NEVER see anyone blame Ditka for losing his team. Anyone who isn't closing their eyes can see that he deserves as much blame as the injuries and everything else that the faithfuls love to blame it on. No one gives Da Coach any blame whatsoever. Hero worship is one thing but blind faith is another. Why is Tobin so much better with another team and was so bad with the BEARS? Was it the experience factor he has now? Or maybe his coach knows what to do with the players that HE gives him. Blasphme right? I'm just deflecting that blame.

Kevin where are they holding "the very fan like classes" nowadays? You guys bring up stats from the 60s and act like that is the barometer but guys are smashing those stats and you want to say that it doesn't matter if that same guy could do it as a player nowadays stuff. Who Cares? Maybe the guys who aren't so quick to give it up to people who wouldn't match up with what is going on now. We have safties who are bigger than Ditka was. He was a big man playing against guys who couldn't stop him because he was a load. They had never seen anything like it and like anything new it takes a while to learn how to attack it. Now, he wouldn't be. The guy was gimpy for years and the way the game is played now he would've been out of the league after 5 years. Or sooner. But since the talent level was so bland he stuck it out. No I'm not going to keep acting like these slow guys who were knocking slower guys teeth out is the end of greatness. I know people hate to take it away from the older guys but I'm not going to keep acting like 56 catches against Bernie McCluckoo or whoever from the 4.87 fastest there was then era is the best ever. Bernie would've been an announcer after he got cut in the first cutdown his rookie year. And yeah Washington did bring along 3 different QB who were pure doggy doo with their past team. And yeah Montanta was replaced by a guy who got beat all the time with Tampa. At least they made something into shinola. Look at the guys we had who actually took other teams to the playoffs and looked better with that other team than the did under Ditak with the BEARS. Coach didn't bring out the best. Payton didn't get better after Ditka became coach and that is what I will hold as a barometer as getting better. Why didn't he go to the HOF as a player until after he won a Superbowl as a coach? Sounds like a posthumous academy award for a guy who died a long time ago.

Now I do not believe that Ditka is a HOF Coach and and I dislike his comments (to say the least) dissing T.O./Irvin on ESPN. BUT Coach Ditka deserved the HOF as a great Tight End and he coulda lost the SuperBowl or not even made it to the playoffs, Somethimes it takes a Coach of certain character to lead a great Team to Greatness for whatever abilities he posess to accomplish that. Give Ditka his credit where credit is due, he can be a Jackass but he won the SuperBowl for Da Bears and for that I am eternally gratefull and I believe he is a great Coach based on that merit alone. Rememember he won, if he did not possess Coaching talent - he might have lost, it has happened before with other Coaches that couldn't pull it off, - See Giants/Patriots last year - I felt that Patriots team was one of the best in a long time but guess what? The reason the Bears lost after 85 was the QB was hurtin - Give alot of credit to my man McMahon!
You can't win without a QB (See Bears SB/ Giants SB etc...)

It takes teamwork to make a great GM/Coach from the Owners and every one...If the Owners won't put out the money then how great can the GM/Coach be?
Football is a Team game from the top to the Bottom


William:

Drinking too much hate r aid. Way too hard on Ditka. Lets face it, Ditka is in the hall of fame for two reasons, coaching and playing.

A teams style of play mirrors the coach and the Bears were ferocious as early as 1983, yes Buddy Ryan was a big part of that as well. What did Buddy Ryan do as a head coach, he failed miserably.

I say give Ditka his due and he is due the admiration of being a very special (great) coach and player. Your arguments about the tightends now versus the tight ends then is moot.

That is like comparing Joe Louis to Muhammed Ali or Ben Hogan to Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan to John Havlicek all great players for their time. The same could be said for coaches.

Lighten up, Ditka didn't shoot your dog.

William R. Donald, you do realize the more you keep going on and on about McMahon, the more you are proving me right....right? Think about it, what have I been saying this whole time about Ditka not getting better QB play than his opposition. Like I said earlier, the durability problems that McMahon had, hurt the team. On offense, you simply must have a QB that can stay on the field. By the Bears constantly changing QB's, this would throw off the timing and mess up the overall continuity of the offense, thus making it harder for Ditka and the Bears to win. Like you were saying, "I've read where McMahon used to constantly change the plays that Ditka called and ignored him," this would also make it harder for a team to win, and yet another example of why Ditka had it harder than his opposition. [Thanks by the way.] When ever a great QB is talked about by his coach, you will hear a lot of the time about how he will run the play that is called. Example, "the catch." I know we have all seen the old NFL films footage on the sideline before the catch was made, and Walsh telling Montana what to do, and he goes out and executes. This is the way it should be, if Ditka would have had a QB that would simply execute the play that was called, who knows, maybe the offense would have been more effective? Also, another thing you keep bringing up about Flutie, and how McMahon turned the team against him. Maybe Flutie could of helped, if not for the problems with McMahon. And William, this is just another prime example of problems that Ditka had to deal with. William, cry me a river about the players having to put up with Ditka going off on the sideline. The coach is there to guide the team, not make everyone happy. FACT that you can't argue with, 100 plus wins, Super Bowl win, and Hall of Famer. I don't think Ditka was as big of a problem for the Bears that you say he was. William, as far as Payton getting better under Ditka, what in the he## are you talking about??!! Payton enjoyed two of his most productive seasons as a player under Ditka, 1984: 1684 yds and 1985: 1551 yds and a 4.8 yd avg his second best of his career as far as avg. Oh yeah, in 1985 Payton set an NFL record for 100 yd games with 8. Whats the big deal you say? Payton was older so it would have been harder to get production from him in this point in his career, not bad coaching if I say so myself. GO BEARS!!

William R. Donald, one last thing. I don't care if Ditka went into the Hall of Fame yesterday or an hour ago, fact is, he went in. Also William, the fact that he went in after the super bowl is also not a good argument...why you might ask?? BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT DITKA WAS THE FIRST TIGHT END TO BE INDUCTED!!!! GO BEARS!!

Tommie is a proven leader and is committed to the Bears! Now let's get Devin signed to a long-term contract. And the first round draft pick. Matt Forte is in the fold--what a trio of RB's--Matt, Adrian, and Garrett. I hope G.W. gets more playing time this season to show the NFL what a diamond in the rough he is!

Hey Kevin:

Although I do agree with you, I would recommend that you not go on and on about Ditka or the people will believe he is a relative of yours.

Hey could you get Ditka to autograph a throwback jersey for me.

Regards,

I would like to see more of GW as well- I can't believe he was picked that high and he isn't any good. The Oline I'm sure hurt but I would like to see more of him this year.
The Bears signing the most draft picks firstest?? wait a minute am I in bizzarro world?

Actually while I agree with most of your points Kevin - I personally like a QB that has the guts/intelligence to change the plays at the line, being a McMahon fan maybe I'm biased but I feel Manning does the same thing as well, if we had McMahon last SB we would have won.
Not trying to take anything away from Coach (impossible to do anyway) but McMahon was one of the better QB's at that time (just as Ditka was one of the better TE's in his time) - I remember the first times I saw him play I knew we had a QB (finally!) - He made plays out of nothing, remember the Minnesota Monday night game where Coach benched him and he came in the second half and threw 2 straight TD's?? - game over. A QB HAS to lead on the field or the Offense will not believe in him and make that play when it's do or die time. That is why Ryan wanted him in Philly - he had a knack for pulling the team together as an Offensive leader.

KJ article... http://nwherald.com/articles/2008/07/04/sports/columnists/doc486b5a0c01780423574314.txt
for those that don't get to the other blog...

Whoo Hoo - PTL for the Men/Women that fought died and yes rotted in British prisons for our Independence!!! Their accomplishments in freezing/hot weather with sometimes not even shoes on their cold feet is nothing short of GREATNESS!! I could not imagine how headstrong those men/women were to freeze/starve for AMERICA THE LAND OF THE FREE - HOME OF THE BRAVE! They must really have wanted a Country to call OUR own. Thank You

I did not realize that Coach Ditka was the first Tight End inducted. Pretty d good accomplishment!

This one is for all the Ditka haters and a personal message from the Da Coach to Da Dummies!...... Knuckle Sandwich to the forehead!

Now Run Your Mouth Tough Guys!

Go Ditka! Go Bears! Go Jones! and maybe we get Farve at QB!

DA BEARS!

PS- WHEN DITKA GOES TO DA SUPERBOWL DA BEARES WIN! NOW SHUT YOUR TRAP!

Big Bri, no one even mentioned anything negative about Ditka in almost 3 weeks and now you wanna come and talk. Either you were in a coma or just sobered up but the real reason I stopped talking about Ditka was that it was getting redundant. Unless I can kidnap you and un-brainwash you, you are gonna believe what you want. And as many people that read this blog not too many came out and defended Ditka even when there was nothing to talk about. Maybe a lot of people just don't care to act like 85 is that big a deal anymore, because either they outgrew those "bruise brother" t-shirts or their wives made them throw them out. Maybe a few of them had their moms come down to "her basement" and clean "his apartment" and she threw that stuff out. Get outta the past. Does anyone even talk like those guys from Saturday night live's parody of Chicagoans? And the Mac didn't change plays at the line he'd change them in the huddle. Maybe he didn't trust that that wish-bone play that Ditka sent out was gonna work. Maybe the student body right play wasn't either. I haven't been big on Ditka since he didn't get Walter his TD in the Super bowl. A team scores 46 points and the coach didn't have brain enough to get his best player a TD. Call it what you want. A rookie DT get one for some reason on offense but not Walter. Flow of the game my hind-quarters. It was over before the half. The rest was just icing on the cake. But a guy who had any sense of tradition and respect who can't get that right maybe shouldn't get so much credit in my honest opinion. Now get your shut.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on June 19, 2008 7:56 PM.

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