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Former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka criticized the captains policy of current coach Marc Trestman, as well as the general tenor of the locker room.

By SI Wire
October 22, 2014

Former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka criticized the captains policy of current coach Marc Trestman, as well as the general tenor of the locker room, in an interview with The Chicago Sun-Times.

Responding to criticism of the policy by Dan Hampton, a former Bears defensive lineman who played under Ditka, the former coach said Trestman's policy of rotating the captains each week shows that the tram doesn't have a true leader.

That’s because you don’t have one. If you had one, he’d be the captain, and that would be it. That’s all there is to it. When you see a leader, you don’t have to look too much further. It is what it is. If he’s the guy, then he’s the guy they want to follow. I believe you should have a captain and a co-captain on offense and defense.

The thing about being a captain, it’s something you can’t give somebody. It’s something they have to earn. And they earn it from the overall respect they get from everybody on that football team.

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Trestman's coaching and the leadership have been the subject of criticism since a contentious post-game locker room after Chicago's 27-14 home loss to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday.

Players reportedly yelled and screamed at each other, with receiver Brandon Marshall calling out quarterback Jay Cutler and teammates having to be separated from each other.

Offensive lineman Kyle Long criticized Bears fans for booing the team and has since said he was wrong to do so. Marshall on Tuesday refuted reports that a "rift" exists between he and Cutler, and Trestman said Monday he saw no evidence of a strained relationship between the two.

Trestman also said he didn't see problems with the locker room in general, but Ditka seems to disagree.

You have to have a lot of leaders in the locker room. You have to have guys who understand their roles and what the team is trying to do and then go out and do it.

I don’t know how much closeness there is on that football team. I’m not saying they have to hang out all the time, but I’m just saying, how much time do they spend together? Our guys hung out all the time. They liked each other’s company. They went out and had beers. I don’t know that they do that anymore.

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After the loss to the Dolphins, the Bears remained winless at home and 3-4 on the season, good for third place in the NFC North. They play at the New England Patriots this Sunday.

Ben Estes

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