Ditka makes rare visit to Bears practice

Legendary Bears coach Mike Ditka visited Bears practice.

Legendary Bears coach Mike Ditka visited Bears practice.

Give Chicago Bears new head coach Marc Trestman credit for understanding Bears history. He reached out to former Bears Super-Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka after accepting the job in January, and Tuesday Da Coach made a rare visit to see the renovated Halas Hall and speak with the current team.

Coach Ditka … when I got the job … I felt that was a great place to start … somebody who knows as much about the Bears and the traditions of the Bears as he does,” Trestman said. “And it turned out to be dinner with our wives. I called him last week with the idea that I left him with to see the new facility and spend some time with our players, and say hello to them. And he graciously agreed.”

Ditka reportedly told the players to relish the opportunity to play in the NFL and appreciate their teammates. He also stressed that money aspects shouldn’t rule the players lives.

Ditka’s message seemed to resonate with the players, and at least one, Quarterback Jay Cutler, saw the resemblance between the legendary coach and the Bears first-year boss. He echoed a lot of the same things that Marc says every day,” quarterback Jay
Cutler said. “There is a common thread between guys who have been there and done it and won championships and know what it is all about — enjoying the game, respecting your teammates, taking advantage of each and every day. That is what Marc tells us. That is what a lot of the great ones tell us. That is what Coach Ditka said as well.”

Ditka watched practice with Bears contract negotiator Cliff Stein and then spoke to the team briefly after practice.

Med Check: Wide receiver Earl Bennett and Defensive tackle Henry Melton appeared at practice for the first time in recent weeks. Bennett suffered a concussion on August 2 in Bourbonnais, while Melton was injured (concussion) during the opening preseason game against Carolina. Both are likely out for the preseason, with the hope they might be able to suit up for the regular season opener against Cincinnati….Elsewhere, middle linebacker D.J. Williams (right calf), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (right knee), defensive end Cheta Ozougwu (hamstring), defensive tackle Corvey Irvin (left ankle), fullback Harvey Unga (rib), long snapper Pat Mannelly (rib) and quarterback Matt Blanchard (left hand). …Trestman announced that Cutler will play the first half Friday night in Oakland, with Josh McCown slated for the third quarter, and newcomer Jordan Palmer mopping up in the fourth. For the final preseason game against Cleveland, both Cutler and McCown will sit out, allowing Palmer and Trent Edwards an opportunity to play.

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