Sayers takes aim at Bears
Gale Sayers took aim Tuesday at coach Lovie Smith, quarterback Jay Cutler and personnel moves that left the Bears without a pick until the third round of the recent NFL draft.
“Cutler hasn’t done the job,” Sayers said. “Urlacher, I don’t know how good he’s going to be coming back. He’s 33 years old. They need a couple wide receivers, a couple defensive backs. They haven’t done a good job.
“If Lovie doesn’t do it this year, I think he’s gone. He had a good team the Super Bowl year. Nothing came together for him the last couple years.”
The 66-year-old Sayers was back in his hometown as the featured speaker at a booster banquet for Boys Town. He also met with students at the nationally acclaimed home for troubled youth.
Sayers is chairman and CEO of Sayers Inc., a computer business headquartered in Vernon Hills, Ill.
Other than a few public appearances he makes on behalf of the Bears, he said, he has little contact with the team these days.
“I go to every game I can,” he said. “Yes, I do live and die with them.”
So he knows well that the Bears lost star linebacker Brian Urlacher to a season-ending injury in last year’s opener at Green Bay.
The Bears, who traded Kyle Orton and 2009-10 first-round picks to Denver for Cutler, finished 7-9 in Cutler’s first season in Chicago and missed the playoffs for the third straight year.
Sayers, the most explosive offensive player in the NFL in the late 1960s, retired in 1971 after the second of two devastating knee injuries. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility.
Sayers pointed out that he made $50,000 in his final season and a total of $275,000 over his entire career. He said he would like to be playing today.
“You know why? Because of the money,” he said. “I wouldn’t change my game. I probably would be just as good because I would be on AstroTurf. The money, that’s the key right now. Everybody is making so much. A person snapping the football is making a million dollars.”