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1985 Bears Coverage: McKinnon sees an easy game against Vikings

Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

McKinnon sees an easy game against Vikings

Brian Hewitt

Originally published Sept. 17, 1985

Wide receiver Dennis McKinnon was as blunt yesterday as he was good Sunday in the Bears’ 20-7 victory over New England.

“It’s the same Viking team we played last year,” McKinnon said of the Bears’ opponent Thursday night. “And even though they’re 2-0, I don’t think they’re as good as their record says.”

The Vikings finished 3-13 last year. But with Bud Grant back at the helm, they knocked off defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco 28-21 in their opener be fore breezing past Tampa Bay 31-16 Sunday.

McKinnon remains unimpressed.

“They caught San Francisco off balance,” he said at the Bears’ weekly press conference. “And they beat up on a Tampa team that we eased up on last week.”

McKinnon caught four passes for 58 yards and one touchdown in the Bears’ 38-28 opening win over Tampa. He added five catches for 73 yards and another touchdown against the Patriots.

“The thing is the Vikings are playing at home,” he said. “And the crowd really gets into it. But if we get up early on them, it won’t really be a match.”

Meanwhile, McKinnon remains one of coach Mike Ditka’s favorites.

“He’s a fans’ player,” Ditka said. “But he’s certainly a coach’s idea of what a player should be. He plays like he enjoys it.”

The Bears signed McKinnon as a free agent out of Florida State, where his candor got him in coach Bobby Bowden’s doghouse.

“He Bowden said I was an outspoken receiver,” McKinnon said. “Normally a player who’s worried about playing time won’t say anything. With me, if something’s going on that I don’t like, I’d rather say it

and get it off my chest. Maybe it cost me a lot of money.

“But I got my degree and that’s what I went to school for in the first place.”

Bowden has since contacted McKinnon and asked him to become a “lifetime alum.” But, said McKinnon, “I said no to that.”