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Mike Keller Ditka was drafted by George Halas to play for the Bears. He was hired as head coach and won a Super Bowl in 1985. Seven years later, on Jan. 6, 1993, the Bears fired Ditka.
Fans chanted "we want Mike, we want Mike" outside Halas Hall and Ditka gave a thumbs up saying outside his office window "this too shall pass." Tuesday it did. Ditka accepted new Bears head coach Marc Trestman's invitation to return and addressed the 2013 Bears after practice.
"It was good," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "I think there's a common thread between guys that have been there and done it and won championships and know what it's all about."
Trestman said he contacted "Da Coach" after getting hired as head coach. Trestman, Ditka and their wives had dinner and a friendship was forged.
"I wanted to learn as much as there was to know," Trestman explained. Despite Ditka's fondness for Lovie Smith and public disagreement with Smith's firing, the new head coach wants Ditka and other old Bears around.
"His message was a great one," Trestman said. "It's about the relationship you have with your teammates, its about the camaraderie, it's about the locker room. The money is the least significant portion of it."
Rookie Tackle Jordan Mills grew up a Saints fan in Louisiana but watched football shows about Ditka's 1985 Bears.
"He's the coach, he's the coach man," Mills said. "He will forever be the coach around here in Chicago and to have him not only being a coach but a person that got drafted by Mr Halas, being around the history so long, having him come speak to us leaves me in awe."
With new buildings being built at Halas Hall, construction is almost complete. The fences are mending the past too. The Bears will retire No. 89 at halftime of this years Monday Night game against the Cowboys December 9th.