Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman brought in legendary Hall of Famer Mike Ditka to tour the newly-renovated Halas Hall and watch practice.
“The idea was for him to come by and see Halas Hall and the new facility and spend some time with our players and say hello to them and he graciously agreed to do that and we certainly appreciate the fact that he came out here today to be with us,” Trestman said, via ChicagoBears.com.
Ditka spoke to several Bears players, telling them to build relationships and to play for one another.
“His message was a great one,” Trestman said. “It’s about the relationships you have with your teammates. It’s about the camaraderie. It’s about the locker room. The money is the least significant portion of it.”
“It was good,” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “He echoed a lot of the same things that Marc says every day. I think there is a common thread between guys that 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.”
On Dec. 9, the Bears will honor Ditka by retiring his No. 89 jersey at halftime of a Monday night game against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field. Ditka will become only the 14th player in Bears history to have his number retired.
Ditka, drafted fifth overall by the Bears in 1961, was voted to five Pro Bowls in six seasons as a tight end and helped lead the team to an NFL championship in 1963.
Ditka later became the Bears head coach in 1982, leading the team to its first Super Bowl championship in 1963.