Mike Ditka praises Bears' defense

Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith has talked about wanting his team to live up to the "Monsters of the Midway" moniker, and Mike Ditka sounds like that mission has been accomplished.

"Their defense is playing very good football, they really are," Ditka said Monday on "Mike & Mike In The Morning" on ESPN Radio. "They're getting after you.

"I'm not saying it's flawless football. I think it's aggressive, Bears-style football where they will knock your brains out, if they have a chance. That's the way they're playing. I kind of like that kind of football. There are a lot of people who don't, but I do."

Ditka has admired the way the Bears' offense has gone from emphasizing the pass to a more balanced attack that features a commitment to the run game.

"I really like what the Bears are doing," Ditka said. "I think the Bears have gone back to a much simpler formula on offense.

"I think they understand what they have to do on offense."

And Ditka doesn't believe many teams match up with the Bears' return game, featuring Devin Hester.

"They play great special teams," Ditka said. "When you look at it, you say what do they have to do to keep it going. Don't turn the football over, that's the main thing. You can take a sack once in a while, you can punt once in a while. Don't turn the football over. And they're learning that. "

The Bears improved to 9-3 with their 24-20 win Sunday over the Detroit Lions. Chicago hosts the New England Patriots on Sunday.