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Ditka Hired By <i>CBS</i>

Da Coach is heading back to Da Studio.

Mike Ditka was hired by CBS on Thursday as an analyst for "The NFL Today."

Fired by the New Orleans Saints after a disastrous three-year coaching stint in which he was 15-33, Ditka will join host Jim Nantz and fellow analysts Randy Cross, Craig James and Jerry Glanville. Ditka promises to be himself, which should make for some interesting discussions.

"I don't think I can be anybody but who I am," Ditka said. "There are some people who like that person and some who don't. I don't want to be overanalytical or boring, and I want to have fun with it."

Sitting in the same studio as the often-outrageous Glanville should produce some sparks from Ditka. But the man who coached the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl title after the 1985 season promises not to get carried away.

"I don't want to get into sitting up there and saying this is a bad play by this coach or this is a bad play by a player. It's my job to give some insight into this great game of football," he said.

CBS Sports president Sean McManus pursued Ditka early in the coach's stint with the Saints. Ditka wasn't interested then, but when he was fired by the team, McManus' pursuit resumed.

"If I hung in there long enough, I knew we would eventually get Mike over to CBS," McManus said. "There are not many people who can get fans to turn on a TV set and Mike is one of those guys people want to hear what he has to say.

"When Mike Ditka opens his mouth about the NFL, people listen. There is nothing contrived about him."

Ditka expects to remain in the studio and nowhere near the sideline.

"I am done with coaching, thank you very much," he said. "I've been involved with football since I was 8 years old and with the NFL since I was 20. It is something you love and you don't quit loving.

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