Thayer Defends Ditka After Dent’s Criticism
(WSCR) Two days after Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent blamed former Bears head coach Mike Ditka for the team not repeating as Super Bowl champions after the 1985 season, teammate Tom Thayer defended his old coach.
“It’s unfair to place the blame and the responsibility on Ditka because we were all part of it,” Thayer told The Mully and Hanley Show. “We all had issues after the Super Bowl that maybe complemented the ultimate success of winning a Super Bowl again. But I think most of all, it was the health of the quarterback position at the time of the playoffs, not a decision Ditka was trying to make to improve his own profile or make a decision beyond belief.”
LISTEN: Tom Thayer on The Mully and Hanley Show
Earlier this week on The Mully and Hanley Show, Dent had said the Bears failed to repeat as champions because of Ditka’s inability to manage the quarterback position.
“We came back three years in a row and had home-field advantage,” Dent said Wednesday. “Our coach couldn’t figure out the right quarterback to play. The disappointing part to me is that we only got one out of it. We should have been the first team ever to win three Super Bowls in a row. It was there (for) the taking, but we didn’t manage that one position right.”
Thayer said the issue was more the health of the quarterback, rather than Ditka’s game planning.
“Unfortunately for the Bears, when it came down to the most important portion of our season, our quarterback position was never healthy,” Thayer said. “So Ditka had to make decisions according to that position, whether he was trying to start an unhealthy quarterback with an edge, or a quarterback that didn’t have enough knowledge, or trying to make a decision between (Mike) Tomczak, who got dinged up one of the last regular season games, and McMahon who had a sore shoulder. So it wasn’t just a decision to throw Doug Flutie in the mix. There were a lot of circumstances surrounding that position that made him make decisions.”