Chicago Bears report to Training Camp in Bourbonnais

Chicago Bears report to Training Camp in Bourbonnais
Bears head coach Marc Trestman answers media questions from Bourbonnais. — Phil Velasquez, Chicago Tribune

Chicago Bears players have until midnight tonight to report to Training Camp down in Bourbonnais, IL. Activities officially begin tomorrow, as players will be put through a rigorous conditioning test, as revealed by veteran safety Chris Conte, which will consist of a 300-yard shuttle to be run three times, each in under a certain amount of time — time based on the player’s position.

Additionally, players will attend positional meetings Thursday and must pass a physical prior to the first camp practice of the off-season, which will take place on Friday, July 26. You can view the full practice schedule here.

Veteran players Roberto Garza, Robbie Gould, Pat Mannelly and Adam Podlesh were among the early veteran arrivals, as the group met to take in a round of golf on a bright and cool July afternoon in Kankakee County.

The rookie bus pulled in to the campus of Olivet Nazarene University at a quarter after one in the afternoon. Rookie first-round draft selection Kyle Long was one of the first players off the bus, telling Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times, “I’m gonna work hard, shut my mouth and just play football.” Long will enter camp, competing for a starting job at right guard with third-year G/T James Brown.

Bears’ head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery met the media later Wednesday afternoon, and Emery took the opportunity to address the topic of having so many players under one-year contracts this season, including many starters entering the final year of their deals, saying, “I do not anticipate that we will do any extensions or new contracts this season.”

Presumably, Emery wanted to thwart any speculation throughout the season as to whether or not the team would address the expiring contract on starting quarterback Jay Cutler by saying simply today that they wouldn’t. Cutler’s contract, as well as every other final-year player’s, will be addressed in 2014.

When asked if that approach could put the Bears in a tight spot should Cutler find himself with all the leverage at the end of 2013, Emery said that if the Chicago Bears found themselves in that situation it will have meant a really great season and a really great performance from the QB and that would surely be “a nice problem to have.”

Head coach Marc Trestman talked about his interaction with Cutler during the offseason, saying, “On every level, I’ve enjoyed the process with Jay; the interaction, his assimilation of the system, watching him develop and grow within the locker room—it’s been great. We spent some time and reviewed his fundamentals. We knew that was a starting point to help him improve, and we’ve done that, and Jay’s been all-in.”

When asked about the change in the starting time for camp practices — having been moved from the afternoon to the morning — Trestman said he wanted his team to get their bodies ready for the grind of the NFL season. “I just felt that with our starting time, on Sunday in September we’ve got a twelve o’clock game, and this is how we’re going to operate during the season, so they’ll get used to waking up early and they’ll get their systems functioning the way they will need to during the season.”

And with that, Bears fans, happy camping!

More to come …

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