Four downs with Mike Ditka: On the Bears’ defense and NFL ownership

Written By BY MIKE DITKA Posted: 04/13/2014, 02:36am
Array AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits a tee shot on the seventh tee during the second round of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 461742829

1. The Bears have made some big offseason moves, especially on the defensive side of the ball. What kind of message does that send to the coaches and players?

They understood what their problem was: defense. Marc [Trestman] has done a great job with the offense. They knew they had to get better people on defense, get a better pass rush and get better people to cover in the secondary. And they did that.

Now, they still have to deal with Green Bay, Detroit and Minnesota in that division. But it’s pretty clear that they got better.

I think it sent a message to the team that said: ‘‘Our defense is a weakness. We expect you to play a certain way and to produce. If you don’t, we’re going to replace you.’’

2. Jon Bon Jovi reportedly is interested in buying the Bills. Did you ever want to own an NFL team?

I’ve had an interest, but I’m not in a position where I can do something like that. Jon Bon Jovi is. I’m satisfied having been a player and a coach. I don’t have to be an owner or an executive. That doesn’t do anything for me.

3. The Masters, one of America’s great sporting events, is under way. Besides the Super Bowl, what is your favorite sporting event?

The Stanley Cup, the U.S. Open, the Masters — there are so many of them. They’re just enjoyable to watch. The Kentucky Derby is exciting. I like them all. The NCAA championship in basketball. The bowl games in football. The Rose Bowl. I used to go to those. But the Super Bowl, to me, is still one of the best spectacles there is.

4. Your pick to win the Masters?

I have no clue. There are so many good golfers out there. You know, Phil [Mickelson] made 5 over on two holes [Thursday], or he’s right in the middle of this. You make one little mistake, and it can kill you. So you have to be smart, you have to be mistake-free and you gotta putt.

OK, but who’s your pick, Coach?

I’d like to see Rory [McIlroy] win it.

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