Former Bears Head Coach Mike Ditka made an appearance Wednesday in New York for Xfinity Sports with Cris Carter and Tedy Bruschi and fielded a variety of questions from reporters on-hand and via Twitter. Among the topics: how his 1985 Bears defense compares with these 2013 Seahawks.
In a Vine tweeted by XfinitySports, Da Coach said his Super Bowl champion front seven was better than Seattle's but added that these Seahawks had the stronger secondary.
The Dan Hampton, William Perry, Steve McMichael, Richard Dent front four found effective relief when needed from the likes of Mike Hartenstine, Tyrone Keys and Henry Waechter. While this Seattle group can provide better two-deep quality at each position along the line, whatever starting combination they use comes nowhere close to the '85 Monsters.
Same goes for a rather pedestrian-looking group of Seattle linebackers versus the Junkyard Dog trio of Otis Wilson, Wilber Marshall and Hall of Famer Mike Singletary. But while our friend Gary Fencik might make an argument that the safety duo he formed with the late Dave Duerson could hang with Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, it's that tandem paired with corners Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell that stars for this year's NFC champs, with an assist to the effectiveness of what Seattle does in the box. Maxwell is filling in for the suspended Brandon Browner, or they might be even more dominant in the secondary. Corners Les Frazier and Mike Richardson were unsung heroes nearly three decades ago. But let's also remember these Seahawks are facing more pass-happy, diverse offenses than those Bears did. The Bears could answer that with their pass rush and blitzes from Buddy Ryan's "46." That team had 21 more sacks (64-43) than the 2013 Seahawks and six more interceptions (34-28). Despite the context of that NFL offensive era versus the current one, Ditka sounds spot-on in his analysis.
There are other rough comparisons between the two teams. Seattle goes into its big game oozing with confidence and swagger, just as the Shufflin' Crew did. The Bears were more verbal and entertaining as a whole, though they didn't have the single, focal-point "spokesperson" that the Seahawks do in Sherman (though Sherman is this week's lightning rod with the media as much as Jim McMahon was back then). And while each team's defense stole the spotlight from their respective offenses, McMahon, Walter Payton, Willie Gault and Dennis McKinnon would rate a decided edge on Russel Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. The Bears' offensive line was much better, too.
In the end, any real conversation comparing the two squads doesn't even matter unless these Seahawks can contain a much better opposing offense than the one the Bears faced in Super Bowl XX.