Dick Butkus endorses Bears' offseason moves

CHICAGO -- Even Chicago Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus was surprised by the massive offseason changes made at Halas Hall.

“I think George McCaskey made a surprising move, because they were always chastised for being kind of [thrifty],” Butkus said Tuesday on a national conference call. “He just pulled the plug. He made those changes, which kind of surprised me, to tell you the truth. I thought they would just let it linger on and try to solve it on the field.

“I thought it was a great move by George to make the change and show the fans of Chicago that they’re not going to stand for that any more, get the team back to where they should be.”

Butkus will be in Chicago next week on behalf of the NFL to announce one of the Bears’ draft choices on Friday, April 1.

The NFL draft returns to Chicago for the first time since 1964, the year before Bears’ founder George Halas selected Butkus with the third overall pick of the 1965 draft.

When asked to compare the present-day draft climate to 1965, Butkus paused for a moment.

“My draft experience was ... I didn’t have a draft experience I don’t think,” he laughed.