It’s back to work time for the Chicago Bears. After a three month vacation, the Bears are set to start their offseason program today. The workouts for the first couple of weeks are limited to basically strength and conditioning and no real work with coaches can start until the first voluntary minicamp, a bonus of the new coaching staff being brought in, which is set to run from April 16-18.
During the first phase, which will be conducted during the first two weeks, activities will be limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehab, with only strength and conditioning coaches allowed on the field with players. Helmets are prohibited, and footballs are permitted on the field only for quarterbacks throwing to receivers provided they are not covered by other players.
There will be a lot of changes as the players reconvene for the first time officially since Lovie Smith addressed the team upon his firing. Let’s look at what’s new:
New Coaching Staff
Lovie Smith, Mike Tice, Rod Marinelli and Dave Toub are out and Marc Trestman, Aaron Kromer, Mel Tucker and Joe DeCamillis are in. With a new staff comes a new routine, new techniques and new expectations. The team will use these couple of weeks to get to know the coaches and get their bearings.
The Bears have been busy this offseason, adding a slew of players since Free Agency opened a few weeks ago. Of course, the “big fish” are Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett, but there are plenty of other additions like DE Turk McBride, TE Steve Maneri, S Tom Zbikowski, LB’s DJ Williams and James Anderson and G Matt Slauson.
Missing but Not Forgotten
There will be quite a few guys missing from the 2013 squad who were part of the 2012 team. Of course the biggest name will be Brian Urlacher. The former face of the franchise hasn’t signed elsewhere after turning down $2 million from the Bears, but the door has pretty much been slammed shut. Other Bears not returning include Kellen Davis, Matt Toeaina, Nick Roach, Geno Hayes, DJ Moore, Jason Campbell and Lance Louis.
Check out the rest of the offseason schedule here.