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.
Dent thinks team dollars
Originally published Jan. 1, 1986
Richard Dent no longer is bent out of shape.
After holding out for a portion of training camp, coming back and then threatening a walkout several games into the season, the defensive end has stopped asking for an extension of his contract and playing for himself.
“It’s something I’ve put in the back of my mind,” said Dent, whose contract enters its option year next season.
The third-year player figures it is more important he expend concentration and energy on the playoffs than on increasing his salary.
Earlier in the season Dent at times was going for individual glory and forgetting team defense, coach Mike Ditka said.
“There are a lot of incentives to get sacks during the regular season, and he was trying to match his total from last year,” Ditka said. “But he found out if he plays team defense, he’ll get his sacks.
“Now that we’re in the playoffs, it doesn’t matter what you do individually, only what you do collectively as a team,” said Ditka, who calls Dent as good a big-play man as there is in the league.
“What goes on next season, I don’t know,” said Dent, who’ll head for his second Pro Bowl after leading the NFC in sacks.
Dent thinks more publicity would help his cause. Yesterday he walked in and opened up during a press conference for offensive and defensive backs.
“When you’re trying to negotiate, it’s not easy getting all the publicity you’d like to get,” he said.
ILLINI PEACH: Even Illinois alums are questioning if everything was peachy about the manner in which Illinois bought its way into the Peach Bowl.
“I guess they’re just going along with some of Mike White’s schemes,” said Bears fullback Calvin Thomas, a former Illini. “He’s going along with the rules, but he’s bending them.”
Thomas, who played two years under White after Gary Moeller was fired, thinks playing in the Peach Bowl was a good business venture for the Illini.
But is White just a businessman?
“I still haven’t formed an opinion of him,” Thomas said.
EVE DROPPING: The Bears had a reprieve from their 11 p.m. curfew for New Year’s Eve and were allowed to stay out until 1 a.m.
What were the plans?
Ditka just wanted to “stay off of Interstate 294.” After the Bears beat San Francisco Oct. 13 Ditka, driving home from O’Hare on I-294, was picked up and later found guilty of driving under the influence of alchohol.
Joking aside, Ditka said he would work on his gin game against general manager Jerry Vainisi.
That’s gin as in cards.
Kicker Kevin Butler, whose parents live in Stone Mountain, 20 minutes from Suwanee, was planning on bringing some friends home for a lasagna dinner.
On the invite list were quarterback Jim McMahon, receiver Ken Margerum, offensive tackle Keith Van Horne and “whoever jumps in the car on time,” Butler said.
SITE SHUFFLE: The Bears have done more moving and grooving searching for practice sites than they have on their music video, “Super Bowl Shuffle.”
If the Bears beat the Giants Sunday, it could be back to Suwanee to prepare for the winner of the Dallas-Rams game.
“If we can secure this place enough, I would think we’d be back here,” Vainisi said. “But if not, Champaign.”
Champaign winds finally died down enough to allow the inflatable dome to be erected over Memorial Stadium.
However, there is a question of whether the dome is high enough.
A new rumor is the Bears might take their act to the University of Minnesota’s new indoor practice facility.
Also contributing to this notebook were Kevin Lamb and Toni Ginnetti.