Mike Ditka: Favre Could 'Absolutely' Still Start

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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," July 22, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Our next guest needs no introduction. He is an NFL legend as a football player and a coach-Mike Ditka. Coach Ditka, it's nice to see you.

MIKE DITKA, HALL OF FAME COACH: Greta, thank you very much.

VAN SUSTEREN: Coach, I want to start first with the gridiron greats. You have been on here before about that. Can you give me an update what your program is doing, and maybe you could explain it to the viewers who may have missed it before.

Watch Greta's interview with Mike Ditka

DITKA: It is just a group of people, a humanitarian group who is trying to raise some money to help players in dire need, former players who have medical and physical problems as a result of their football injuries.

What is happened today is that we had a big press conference in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Dr. Robert Polumbo (ph) and his group come on the OAA (ph) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, have come on board. And they are going to provide a lot of surgeries free to the players who need help.

We are going to help some people. There is no question about it. This program is terrific. And Dr. Polumbo (ph) is going to try to get other doctor groups around the country in different areas to do the same thing.

And we can help a lot of these guys. First of all, they do not have the medical care, they don't have the whereabouts, the insurance, or anything else to get surgeries that they need. And it can make their lives a little better and a little more productive if they can get these surgeries.

VAN SUSTEREN: And they certainly deserve it. They entertained us so many years on those Sunday afternoons getting banged around. And now so many of them are paying for it, and we've moved on to other players. So I am glad to see that something is being done, coach.

DITKA: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Coach, let me switch gears. Brett Favre--what do you think?

DITKA: It is a tough situation. I say this, that I have been around the national football league for a long time as a player, a coach, and a fan.

And he is one of the great is that I have ever seen. Not in the sense of purely throwing the football. He is the ultimate gunslinger. He rides into town, and he gives it all he has got.

Now, he is going to make mistakes, because when you risk, it does not always work out. A great, great football player, a great leader, and I will always remember him as a Green Bay Packer.

I do not know what will happen with him. It is a no win situation for the Packers public relations-wise. I have a lot of respect for Brett. He is a true hall of famer. It is a shame that it came to this.

But it goes back to one thing. There is no loyalty. There is no loyalty in sports. An organization, if they feel that they have to prove a point by playing a player they drafted and getting rid of a great like Brett Favre, then they're going to do it.

It is what have you done for me lately? And if you have not done a lot for me lately, goodbye. And that is basically the way it has come in all sports.

So I do not know.

VAN SUSTEREN: I think the facts are a little bit different, because they do way they're owned, that maybe there is loyalty, not just a single wealthy owner, but the community.

Let me ask you, could he still start? If you were a coach, is he somebody that you would start?

DITKA: Absolutely. If I was in that position where I had a chance to get a guy like Brett Favre, and I thought had some of the other pieces of the puzzle put together-one thing would be a running game and a pretty good defense-Yes, absolutely.

This guy could play with anybody. There is no question about that. Can he do it all by himself? No. You cannot expect him to be a miracle worker. But if you give him leadership and guidance and the playing ability to take us to the playoffs, absolutely, he can do that.

VAN SUSTEREN: And what about sitting on the bench? What do you think about putting Brett Favre on the bench?

DITKA: I do not think that is going to sit very well with Brett Favre. I don't think that is going to happen. I really don't.

VAN SUSTEREN: Who needs him? Who needs him?

DITKA: I don't want to get into who needs him. If you look around the league and you look at the teams who are looking for quarterbacks and are not having a lot of production out of their quarterback position, for one reason or another, there are a lot of teams out there that could use Brett Favre, believe me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Coach Ditka, it is always nice to see you. And it's Gridiron Greats.

DITKA: Greta, thank you very much.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's a great program. Thank you very much, sir. Come back.

DITKA: Thank you. OK, bye-bye.

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