Bears’ training camp won’t be hitters’ paradise
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org July 24, 2013 10:01PM
Updated: July 25, 2013 7:56AM
BOURBONNAIS — Don’t expect a rock’-em, sock’-em training camp from the Bears when they’re allowed to put on full pads for the first time Sunday. Under new coach Marc Trestman, hitting will be kept at a minimum.
“We’re going to be very smart about what we do,” Trestman said Wednesday. “You’re not going to see players on the ground. You’re not going to experience scrimmages. You’re going to see very, very few collisions in the perimeter because we’re going to be practicing the concepts of cooperation and respect among our team.”
Trestman said that most contact will occur at the line of scrimmage and at the second level with linebackers and safeties in the box. It’s what he did with the Montreal Alouettes and what’s becoming the norm around the NFL as teams adapt to the collective-bargaining agreement and make a concerted effort to keep players healthy.
“There won’t be any tackling,” Trestman said. “Running backs will be allowed to finish, and when they’re allowed to finish, everybody can run to the ball. You won’t see grabbing for jerseys.”
Ready to race
One new twist to Trestman’s camp compared to Lovie Smith’s is that there will be a conditioning test Thursday. It consists of three sets of 300-yard shuttles with players timed by position.
There won’t be sanctions if players don’t meet their set times, but it’s a chance for Trestman and Co. to get a sense of how committed players are.
“I look at it as an accountability exercise,” said Trestman, who did the same thing in Montreal. “The times are very minimal. We’re not trying to run anybody off or wear anybody down. It’s a minimalized test where everybody can see everybody out there for the day and see everybody running and see what kind of condition they’re in.
“And we’re giving the players a chance to see each other and the kind of commitment that they’ve made over the summertime.”
General manager Phil Emery said he expects every player to receive medical clearance and practice Friday, including wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Minor hip surgery in January made Marshall a spectator for nearly all of the Bears’ offseason training. He said he has “no limitations” but will be cautious.
“We’re gonna be smart,” Marshall said. “I’m going on my eighth year [and have] had a few hip surgeries. Nothing major, but at the same time, we start playing games in September. So that’s what I’m preparing for.
“It’s important to get out there with your teammates, build chemistry, learn the offense, get reps. But if I’m not healthy, all that doesn’t matter. So I’ll listen to my body and go as it tells me.”