One day after suggesting that it might be time to give up coaching for good, Mike Ditka said Monday that he intends to stay with the New Orleans Saints.
"I'm not going anywhere. I'll stay here until they run me out of this town," Ditka said in an interview on WWL radio.Ditka's statement was in sharp contrast to the mood he exhibited Sunday after the Saints lost 20-3 to the Atlanta Falcons.
Ditka, his eyes welling with tears, had said he was ready to quit.
"I don't have it anymore," said Ditka, who returned to coaching after a four-year absence. "I feel I have failed this football team."
Ditka had said he would likely quit at the end of the season if things didn't turn around in the final four games. And, he added, if owner Tom Benson wants to fire him now, he wouldn't object.
"Maybe the game has passed me by," he said. "Maybe all the experts were right."
But Monday, Ditka said he would remain as long as Benson lets him.
Ditka said he spent the night thinking about his future with the Saints and discussed it with his wife.
"I'm disappointed and I'm frustrated . . . Sometimes you feel like you're riding a horse and you can't make it turn the way you want," he said.
Ditka said he had expected the Saints to be in a position to go to the playoffs this season. He took the blame for "some mistakes in evaluating personnel."
"I feel that we should have better results than we've had, that I should've done a better job," Ditka said.
Ditka returned to coaching this season with the Saints after spending the past four years as a commentator for NBC.