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Ditka On The State Of The Bears, NFL, And Life

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mike Ditka's main mission on Wednesday was selling sausage.

However, that didn't stop Da Coach from offering his views on the state of his former team, the health of football players and, well, just life in general.

Ditka showed up at the Vienna Beef Factory on the North Side, where fans lined up to taste his new trademark Ditka Monster Sausages.

The event was also a fundraiser for the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, a non-profit to provide financial help and social services for retired NFL players in need.

Ditka has plenty to say on that topic and many others, too.

NFL And Concussions

"I think the league has dropped the ball on their responsibility to the old-time players. These guys played like hell and they didn't know what was going on with the concussions.

"A lot of them are suffering tremendous problems because of what happened.

"They [the NFL] are getting a lot better about it now and starting to understand it and they are being more careful.

"But you can't undo what happened."

On Bears Coach Marc Trestman

"I have talked to Marc a couple of times.

"Marc is the right man for the job. He is a good man and he is doing a good job.

"What people have to understand. They are in first place right now and they have to continue to keep their eye on the goal.

"Now are they playing as good as they could on defense?


"They have to fix that.

"I thought Cutler played well last week [against the Saints]. You can't get into the catch up mode every week and think you are going to come back and win the game.

"They have got to play better on the defensive side. They know that.

"Their tacking in the secondary is horrible. And if it doesn't get better, you are going to have a problem.

[In the loss to the Lions the defense] "made Reggie Bush look the Gayle Sayers and Jim Brown combined. He's good but he ain't that good.

"They have got enough to get the job done in their division."

On Being A Pitchman

"I am going to fool them as long as I can. If they keep asking, I am going to keep doing it."

On Life's Lessons

"I am in the twilight of my life, and I am having fun. I finally understood that life is not as serious as I tried to make it for 50 years.

"This town has been good to me. It's kind of adopted me and I have adopted it.

"Good sports fans have good memories."

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