You would think “Iron Mike” Ditka, of all people, would have an intense dislike for anything affiliated with the Green Bay Packers.
Yet, believe it or not, Ditka, the former Chicago Bears icon, recently heaped praise upon current Packers star Aaron Rodgers.
In a recent interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Ditka, a former Hall of Fame tight end before becoming a Super Bowl-winning head coach in the Windy City, was asked which current NFL quarterback he would have liked to play with. After milking the clock a bit, Ditka eventually chose Rodgers — perhaps the Bears’ biggest nemesis these days.
“The guy up in Green Bay, I think is the best in football,” Ditka said of Rodgers, the 2011 NFL MVP. “But that’s my opinion. I like what he does, and I like his leadership qualities. And I think that’s the other thing you have to look at. He has to be the guy in charge. And the team has to know it.”
Ditka also said that, of all the quarterbacks in NFL history, Rodgers — who has five seasons with at least 28 passing touchdowns to his credit — is the one he would’ve enjoyed coaching the most.
“How could I say that I wouldn’t want to coach [Johnny] Unitas or Bart Starr? There’s been so many great ones,” Ditka told the Sun-Times. “But if I had to coach one guy in my career, maybe it’d be Aaron Rodgers.”
Those statements may sound rather blasphemous coming from a former Chicago Bear, but “Iron Mike” didn’t mince words. That’s high praise, indeed, to be passed Rodgers’ way.