Mike Ditka returns to the Chicago Bears' practice field

mike-ditka-chicago-bears.jpgFirst-year Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman figures what better way to inspire his team than to invite back one of its all-time greats -- former Bears player and head coach Mike Ditka.

"It was hard standing up for two hours when I'm used to sitting on a [golf] cart," jokes Ditka to ESPN, on his return to Halas Hall practice field this week.

"I thought it was a great place to start, somebody who knew as much about the Bears and the tradition of the Bears as he does," says Trestman. "The idea ... was to bring him by and see Halas Hall and the new facility and spend some time with our players and say hello to them. He graciously agreed to do that and we certainly appreciate the fact that he came out here today to be with us."

What is Ditka's advice for the current team? They have to work together.

"These guys have got to band together as brothers. I don't care what you think about your teammate, he's your brother and you've got to play for him, he's got to play for you," says Ditka. "I told them if you respect your teammates they'll respect you. If you respect the coaches they will respect you. Most of all you've got to respect the game. Don't act like a clown. Don't be a big jerk out there, don't be a showoff."

Aaron Kromer, the Bears offensive coordinator, adds that having Ditka there really brings things back into perspective.

"Anytime you can bring history, an alumni of a team, especially someone like Mike Ditka, it really brings the player back, the coach back, ourselves -- I'm saying us in the building -- back to the reality of what's going on. That this is the Chicago Bears. This is the greatest city on Earth, and that's what he spoke about. And we needed to hear it from someone like Mike Ditka."

The Chicago Bears have two preseason games left and then they open the 2013 regular season at home on Sept. 8 versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
SHARE IT ON: