Return of 'Da Coach'?

The chances of Mike Ditka returning to the world of coaching are unlikely, but that didn't stop him from saying if the Lions come calling he'd listen.

"I don't think there are a lot of places I'd like to coach anymore," Ditka told the AP from Cancun, where he was booked for a speaking engagement. "Detroit is a little different, though. I played for years against them and coached for years against them. It's part of the 'Black and Blue Division.' And it has a lot of the same ethnic make-up as Chicago, hard-working people."

Ditka, 63, hasn't coached since being fired by the Saints in 1999. He has 112 victories as a coach and led the Bears to victory in Super Bowl XX.

Detroit's first choice is Steve Mariucci, who was recently fired by the San Francisco 49ers. Ditka realizes the chances of Lions GM Matt Millen hiring Mariucci are high.

"I still consider it a done deal," Ditka said.

But, it would be great to see Ditka back in coaching and back in the division he dominated in the eighties.


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