Q&A

Dave Wannstedt reflects on his time with the <!--Default NodeId For Chicago is 115,2005--><A HREF=http://bears.TheInsiders.com>Chicago</A> Bears and looks ahead to Monday's game.

Will it mean anything to kick the living shit out of the team that dumped your ass?
"The way this season has unfolded, obviously it's been a few years, there's very few players left on that team. Kreutz, three or four, I was looking at the roster the other day when we had a scouting report. There's been so many changes with people, players, everything else. Plus you've got to combine that with the situation we're in right here. We're tied for first but had a tough loss last week and we've got to regroup and try to win a football game. That's where my focus is and where our team's focus is. That's what we've got to get done this week."

What's the addition of Ricky Williams meant to your team?
"Adding Ricky to the roster, there was a couple things. You know the philosophy that I have and that hasn't changed. We want to run the ball and play defense. Where we were drafting, we just didn't feel good about drafting a young back, who could come in and make an impact. When the trade scenario worked out we felt that we were getting a 25-year-old running back that had his best years in front of him and really fit what we were going to do from the point of offensive philosophy and utilizing his talent."

What will it mean to get Jay Fiedler back?
"It'll be good, a positive from the standpoint of anytime you get your starting quarterback back on the field, that brings a sense of confidence to the offense, a sense of confidence to the whole football team. We just need to be smart with Jay. He's practiced last week and got in the game a little against Buffalo (6-7 throws). He really didn't get a lot of action throwing the ball and that probably worked out good. It gave him a chance to get in there, get some snaps, get back in the huddle, and get into the flow of the game a little bit. He's healthy but he's had a lot of weeks off so we've got to somehow try to get him back in rhythm and at the same time it's a critical game for us. It's not like it's like the preseason or a scrimmage during training camp. He needs to get in there and get in rhythm but we need to execute well enough to move the football."

How have you changed as a head coach since your time in Chicago?
"I don't know how I've changed. Obviously a lot of the experiences you have as you're going through the first time through, you have a lot of time to reflect back, good and bad, and when you get presented with the same situation, you have something to measure whether you, which direction you want to go. It gives you a little past experience, whether it be dealing with players, game plans or whatever.

"As far as what we're doing, if you watched one of our practices, you wouldn't see anything different. We did the same thing in training camp. We pounded around and the philosophy's the same and the workout's the same. I wish I could tell you I was playing golf but I'm not. I think I probably delegate a little more here than I did in Chicago. I try to do the same things with the players as far as trying to have as good a rapport as you possibly can have with these guys. We have our player committee that I meet with regularly and we had that going in Chicago. So I think it's been fortunate that we got better play-, you know, some players and we've stayed healthy and that's probably been the difference."

How do you look back on the years in Chicago?
Positive, it was rough at the end, no question about that. But there was a heck of a lot more good than bad, I've got a lot of great friends up there and I try to get back whenever I can. My daughter lives up there and I have an awful lot of respect for the people in the organization, with the McCaskeys and everything going on up there. There's no negatives. This is a tough racket. There's a lot of circumstances going on and you've just got to be man enough to face it head on and deal with it."

Where you treated unfairly in final years with the Bears?
"Oh, no. It's no different really in any city. If we weren't winning down here, it wouldn't be any different in Miami. You look back - I remember when I got in there you know how tough they were on Mike Ditka. And I was in Dallas when they were tough on Tom Landry. I think that just comes with the territory and you have to be strong enough to deal with it and that's what I tried to do."


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