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Mike Ditka on Bears: ‘I turned the game off’

Four downs with Mike Ditka:

1. You have been pretty adamant about not making a head coaching change with the Bears, but in light of the Aaron Kromer incident and the team’s lackluster play, don’t you think they have to make a change?

Well, I think they are going to make a change. The problem I have with it is you can’t keep replacing the coach every two years. And if you think this isn’t a good football team because of the coach, you’re wrong. It has nothing to do with the coaching. Look, they have made some bad picks, made some really bad choices and tied up their money in the wrong people. I’m not going to get into the particulars of it, but that’s just what it is. So, how do you work yourself out of it? You try to find some guys that want to play. They want a job real bad playing football. They take it as an honor to play for the Chicago Bears. That’s what they have to find.

2. Who else has to go?

I don’t think anybody has to go. It’s not what I think, what you think or what the fans think. They’re going to make a change if they want to. It’s up to them, the organization. They’re not where they want to be. They’re far below where they want to be. I just think it’s awfully hard for them right now.

I’ll tell you what, I watched until it was 14-0, then I turned the game off. I didn’t watch any more. So, I don’t know what happened. I don’t know how bad it got or didn’t get. I didn’t pay any attention to it.

But from what I saw, the guys on defense didn’t know where to line up. They didn’t know how to cover. They didn’t know how to do anything. It’s a shame. There is no excuse for that. You can say it’s coaching, and maybe that has something to do with it. But I think it’s the people they have. They just aren’t very good.

3. If it’s your money, not the McCaskey’s, do you eat some of Jay Cutler’s guaranteed contract and cut your losses with him now?

Well, they’ve tied up a lot of money in Jay Cutler. No question about it. If they were to bite the bullet and cut him, they’d still have salary cap issues. I don’t know. You have to make a decision somewhere along the line. Have you seen him progress? Are you seeing what you want to see? Is the leadership there? You have to ask yourself all those questions. If you answer, “yes,” then you don’t do anything. If you answer, “no,” then you make a change.

4. In the situation the Bears are in, how long would it take them to turn this around?

I think you’re going to need a couple good drafts and do some things in free agency that make sense. You have to get some guys who not only can play the game, but have leadership qualities. I don’t see any leadership, that’s what bothers me.

Maybe I’m different, but I’d be awfully mad right now. I’d be awfully pissed off right now if I was one of those players and I’d let people know about it. If I thought I was out there doing my best and knew other people weren’t, I’d say something about it. Then again, I don’t know who is doing their best.