Four downs with Ditka

Written By BY MIKE DITKA Posted: 03/23/2014, 02:33am
Array Manhattan center Rhamel Brown (5) blocks a shot by Louisville guard Russ Smith (2) in a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament Thursday, March 20, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) ORG XMIT: DOA186

1. The Bears filled some holes in free agency, mostly on defense. As the draft nears, is there a position they still need to address?

If there’s a great corner coming out, that’s a position they need to look at. If there was a difference-maker as a pass rusher, an outside linebacker, they might look at that. Their offense is fine and can compete with anyone. Their defense needs help. Now, they got rid of some people that were there. Whether they should have or should not have doesn’t matter. They made that decision to go in a different direction.

2. The NFL owners meet this week. The extra-point rule and safety issues are sure to be high on their list. But is there one rule you would like to see changed or instituted?

When they brought in instant replay, I never thought they should have the coach have to ask for a challenge. If you have to check something, you have to check it. The idea in the game is to get it right.Speaking of extra points, there’s nothing the matter with the game of football. The game of football has been around a long time and will be around a long time. The rules, the scoring, it’s all pretty understandable. I don’t understand why they want to change the extra point or any of the scoring mechanisms. They’re wasting their time. The game is a good game as it is. If you want to add more teams to the playoffs, fine. That might create more interest and surely generate more income. But don’t mess with the rules of the game.

3. The NFL police blotter grows with each passing week. What can the league or individual teams do to curb this?

The league and teams can do something, but most of it has to come from the individual. You have an obligation and a responsibility when you become a professional athlete, and that obligation is to respect the game, respect the fans and do the right things. A lot of these guys don’t. They need to leave their past behind them; they can’t bring it with them.

The league has to have a better way of educating these kids on how to invest their money and save their money, so they have some kind of future. The money is only here for a while. When the money is gone, how are you going to make an income? You shouldn’t have to because you should have a solid foundation and set income to live the rest of your life.

4. Upsets, overtimes and buzzer-beaters. Does it get any better than the NCAA tournament?

No, it really doesn’t. It’s amazing. You see 12s beating 5s. So many games going down to the last shot. When you get into this tournament, it doesn’t matter how good you are. Strange things happen. Manhattan almost beat Louisville. Who knows anything about Manhattan?

It’s so great. These young kids in these small programs, they don’t care how good the other team is. They’re there to show what they can do. Anything can happen. It’s March Madness. That’s what it is!

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