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Thread: More Ditka....
From an interview with USATODAY....
Q: Has anything Ricky Williams done in the last few months surprised you?
A: Everything he's done has surprised me. He's not the same person now as he was when I drafted him (with the New Orleans Saints). I don't really know this guy. I wouldn't take him back. I wouldn't want him on my football team. He's not reliable, he's not dependable. He certainly wasn't doing drugs when he came out. He had a little trouble being around people. But we got along pretty well. But he got into a little different environment (in Miami) and met some people, and that probably weren't the best things for him. Ricky's not a leader, he's a follower. And that's the problem sometimes — he's too nice a guy. He doesn't know how to say no.
Q: In 1985, you came about as close to perfect (15-1) with the Bears as you can get. Talk about what the Patriots are going through.
A: It's harder to do what the Patriots are doing now than what we did and the Dolphins did (in 1972). It's harder to keep good people around. But the Patriots keep plugging in good people, they've got a great organization, great ownership and good coaching. If they were to run the table and win the Super Bowl and go undefeated, by far they would have to be considered the best team ever, regardless of how many great Hall of Famers they have on the team now. Football is about a team, and they are the best team I've seen. They don't have a lot of great stars, but they are a great team.
Q: What is the biggest difference in the league today from when you played?
A: Well, players are bigger, but I refuse to say they're stronger and faster. ... They train better, sports medicine's better, rehabilitation's better, everything's better. You can change everything, but when you open up a guy and look inside his heart, that doesn't change. Great players are great players in any era. Great players have heart, they have a will to win, they have a will for discipline, they work harder. Payton had talent but he was my hardest worker. ... The big difference today is money, free agency, lack of loyalty, by coaches, owners and players. It's a business. It's the greatest game in the world ..., but it's a business. I love it, I love to watch it, and I just hope the people playing it appreciate it.
Q: Are you surprised by what has happened with Tom Coughlin in New York?
A: I don't think it's important if players are there 15 minutes early. It's important that they're on time, that they understand the rules, and you have to put them in the best frame of mind to prepare for the game and go out and play on Sunday. You can have rules and rules are essential. But you can have rules that go beyond making sense. But that's just me. Coughlin can do what he wants and he's done it well and he's been successful. But there has to be fun in football. This is not brain surgery. It's not the end of the world. Listen, there's 600 million Chinese who don't care about this game. We've got to keep things in perspective. It's football. We're all lucky to be a part of it, but let's have a little fun. Let's smile. It's not the end of the world.
Q: How seriously were you considering running for the U.S. Senate (in Illinois)?
A: I considered it for about two days. Then I came to my senses. I said, "I don't know if you can make a difference." I really don't, and I think politics has become very dirty business. I don't think it's anybody's business what people do in their private lives, within reason. It comes down to mud-slinging, name-calling and if you can embarrass your opponent enough, maybe people think you're the right person for the job. I don't think people listen to the issues anymore. They pick this person for this reason and that person for that reason and that's it. Plus, I don't think I would've been ideal on the Senate floor. I probably would've got into a fight. There's a couple guys I'm not too fond of.
Q: You and Tony Dorsett are both doing "Tackling Men's Health" and endorsing Levitra. And you both played at Pitt. Hmmm. Is is something in the water there?
A: Not only did we both go to Pitt, but we're from the same hometown (Aliquippa, Pa.) though we went to different high schools, our last names both start with D and we're both Polish.
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