Ditka tees off on Cutler and disappointing Bears
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Did you expect the Bears to collapse so soon?
They’re not very good right now and they know it. The snowball’s rolling downhill and you gotta stop it. I’m not seeing any fire at all. I see too many guys that are comfortable in their jobs. You gotta give your best effort on every play and I don’t see that. This was a marquee game for this reason: It could springboard the team for the whole season. Monday Night Football. National TV. Everybody has a chance to find out who the Bears are. Now nobody knows who they are. They don’t look like a very good team to me right now. They don’t look like a committed group of guys. Guys that go out there with a passion and say we’re gonna go out there and play as hard as we can for as long as we can and we’re going to try and win this football game. I didn’t see that. If you’re going to tell me that Philadelphia is that much more talented than the Bears, I’m not buying it. You can’t line up and let people kick your ass, I’m sorry.
Jay Cutler says he’s ‘fine’ with Pernell McPhee calling him out on the field. Are you fine with it?
I think it’s the wrong place and the wrong time to do it. There’s a better time and a better place to do that than on the sidelines. But I did things on the sidelines, too. Who am I to say? In the heat of the moment you say a lot of things. Maybe you end up regretting it, I don’t know. It’s all part of the game. I think he’s trying to be a good teammate and trying to help Cutler. I don’t know if this all falls on Jay. How much time did he have to throw the ball? C’mon! The one blitz was completely free. He didn’t see it. Nobody saw it. There was nobody there to block. Nobody. Zero.
How does Cutler help the team by playing hurt?
I like Cutler and I’ve said it before. He didn’t throw the ball well against the Eagles but it could have been the injury. There are a lot of quarterbacks that have had bad days. If he’s hurt, he can’t play. You gotta play the other guy. You gotta get Cutler well. He’s your franchise quarterback. He’s gotta be 100 percent. If not, he’s going to re-injure himself or he’s going to cause the offense to be ineffective.
Are fans justified in their frustration with where this team is going?
I’m a fan and it pisses me off. There’s nobody in the world that has a right to be a bigger Bears fan than me. I don’t care what people say, think or do. I’m a Bear fan and I want them to win and I want them to be the best. In order to do that you gotta have people who are committed to the same thing. It’s not the coaches. Coaches coach, players play. You gotta go out there and play. And right now it doesn’t look like they have the talent to match up with a lot of people. I understand where the fans are coming from. There’s no homefield advantage there (the Bears have lost 11 of their last 12 games at Soldier Field). I don’t know why you can’t win at home. The field is 120 yards long, 53 and a half yards wide. It’s got goal posts. Your home fans are cheering. You should be able to win at home. Looking at it, I think a lot of people are asking ‘What’s going on?’ and I’m not sure if the organization has an answer. I sure as hell don’t have an answer.
EXTRA POINT: Do you wish you could do something about this?
If I had an answer for it don’t you think I’d pick up the phone and call John Fox and say, ‘Here’s the answer.’ There is no answer right now. The only answer is from within. It can only happen from the people within the organization. You get what you tolerate in life. I don’t know what their thinking is in the front office. I learned under two great men. I learned under George Halas and Tom Landry. Period. That’s where my football came from. What I learned from Coach Halas was to appreciate the game. What I learned from Coach Landry was you can’t cook the meal without the groceries. You gotta get the people. You gotta have the people who can not only play but who are hungry to play, that have a passion to play. Players who know it’s just not about a paycheck. You can’t be about a paycheck. It’s about playing a game you love for that reason — you love it. And you’re fortunate that they pay you to do that. HELLO?!? They’re going to pay me for doing what I love to do? Now, how lucky was I? You tell me. Athletes get paid to do what they love to do. Now if you’re not doing your best every time then I think you’re foolish.