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Dick Butkus Gets 'Disgusted' by Bears, 'No Reason Why They Should Be This Bad'

Francisco RosaFebruary 12, 2023

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 24: Former linebacker for the Chicago Bears and University of Illinois Fighting Illini Dick Butkus is seen in the first half during an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears on November 24, 2019, at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As one of the Chicago Bears' most iconic players, watching the new school Bears struggle this past season was frustrating for Dick Butkus.

Butkus, 80, played middle linebacker for Chicago throughout the entirety of his career, in which he was named defensive player of the year twice, an All-Pro eight times and was a member of the 1960s and 1970s NFL All-Decade teams.

So, after watching Chicago end up with the first-overall draft pick for the first time since 1947 following a 3-14 season, Butkus did not mince words when talking to Patrick Finely of the Chicago Sun-Times.

"There's no reason why they should be this bad," he said Friday. "I get a little disgusted."

"... I really get hot watching them, especially with a lot of lack of effort things. I don't get it. I really don't."

It wasn't just the Sun-Times that heard of Butkus' displeasure. He made his feelings known for several outlets throughout the week leading up to Super Bowl LVII.

One positive takeaway for Butkus was the play of quarterback Justin Fields, who had an impressive second season in the league. Fields became just the third quarterback in NFL history to rush for a 1,000 yards in an NFL season.

Butkus does not see Fields as the problem. Instead, he wants general manager Ryan Poles and the rest of the Bears' front office to build around the 23-year-old in order to find more success.

"That first year, I thought the coaching of him was terrible," Butkus said. "I said, 'How is it that when he comes off the sideline and goes to the bench he takes his helmet off and puts on a baseball hat?' If you watch Aaron Rodgers and Pat Mahomes and Tom Brady, when they get on the sidelines they've got the iPad and a coach right there.

"Where was that his rookie year? That group he was in there that rookie year, they didn't coach him one iota, I don't believe. So he's moving along now."

The Bears will be looking to get past the wild-card round of the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 campaign next season.