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Mike Ditka stands by Ricky Williams draft trade

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mike-ditka-ricky-williams.JPGChicago Bears legend and cigar enthusiast Mike Ditka is still standing by his decision to trade an entire draft in order to get then-stud Texas running back Ricky Williams.

Talking to a group of men at a Palm Beach event, the current ESPN analyst was asked if he'd make the same move again.

"Absolutely," Ditka said. "Of course, that's why I'm sitting here, talking to you."

In 1999, Ditka was the coach of the New Orleans Saints, an organization that made a much maligned trade with the Washington Redskins. It allowed the Saints to snatch up Williams with the fifth overall selection in exchange for eight draft picks. Williams rushed for 3,129 yards in three seasons with New Orleans, but was traded to the Dolphins -- perhaps large in part to off-the-field problems.

Ditka, however, defended the back.

"You'll never find a better guy, a sweetheart of a guy, a personable guy, a guy who tries to do the right things, and I think his teammates see that," he said.

"Now you could argue, if you want to: Did we give up too much to get him? Maybe," Ditka said. "But if you want somebody, why not give it up? And the other reason we wanted him -- I wanted him -- was that they needed somebody to market in New Orleans and I thought he would be great."

In recent years, Williams has been extremely productive while managing to stay out of the headlines for the wrong reasons.

While the trade didn't translate to immediate success for Ditka's Saints, I'd bet there are very few people down there worrying too much about it anymore.

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2 Comments

While no one down here in New Orleans is upset about anything regarding the Saints, there are always lingering comments and questions. The biggest is why we would ever get a guy like that? It was without a doubt a mistake that set football in New Orleans back several years. And I am talking about hiring Ditka as a coach. He was the most overrated blow-hole in the NFL and now has the same title in the Media. His coaching skills were/are a joke and they are better than his poor media skills. Give this Chicago goon back to the worse fans in pro sports, Bear Fans!

Ditka is a the classic definition of opening mouth, insert foot. Repeat!!! He may have been a great tight end and worthy coach when much younger. But he was a classic blowhole from the time he left Chicago. This guys was saying stuff that either or someone else had to apologize at least daily. Speaking of which, The Daily Douche, sounds appealing in this case.

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