During a preseason practice in August, coach Marc Trestman brought none other than Mike Ditka in to talk with his (and Ditka’s) team. On Friday Trestman and the Bears brought in a spectrum of the players who toiled under Ditka and various other coaches in the long history of the NFL’s charter franchise.
Richard Dent, Donnell Woolford, Ronnie Bull, Mike Tomczak, Rashied Davis, Anthony Morgan, Big Cat Williams, James Thornton and others were invited into the Walter Payton Center to watch the final practice before the Bears head to St. Louis to face the Rams.
A number of current players made it a point to shake hands and chat with some of those who helped establish the tradition behind the “C” that is on the helmet, as Trestman made clear to his players before adjourning practice.
“It’s awesome,” said Trestman, who visited with each and every player. “As I told the players before we broke, the guys that are here laid the foundation for what we have now, and they built the culture of what we have now, and they’re part of the Bear tradition.
‘The more we get to know them and to have them around, and it’s great to see them, the more we’ll get a sense for what this is all about. We’ll learn something from each and every one of them. I thought it was a good start, and it has been to have some guys come around and meet our players and reconnect. They’re really a part of a family. Just because they’re done playing doesn’t mean they’re not still part of the family, and they certainly are.”