After a day off, the Chicago Bears resumed practice Friday at Halas Hall.
Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and several players spoke to the media afterward. Here are four things we learned.
Kmet said the pace, speed and physicality, and coaches’ expectations that players move quickly from drill to drill, added up to a practice that the players had to overcome.
His companions agreed.
“Today was a day, for sure,” wide receiver Darnell Mooney said. “I was lying in the locker room after today.”
“You definitely felt it today,” safety Eddie Jackson said. “Coach Alan (Williams) and I were on the sidelines, talking like… ‘You can do two things. You can tap and stop and cry and complain. Or you can just step up. And when you go through things like that, it shows what good teams are made of.”
Getsy said coaches made it a point to challenge players’ conditioning early on Friday, and he plans to keep an eye on who did and who didn’t when he watches video.
“That’s going to be something I’m going to pay attention to, see who lost focus and who lost discipline and stuff when they were challenged today,” Getsy said.
The Bears’ offense played quite a bit against the scouting team’s defense to provide a new look.
“We have two teams in our division that play a 3-pointer and our defense doesn’t,” Getsy said. “When you talk about the big guys up front, everything changes in your rules and assignments when you have a 3-pointer. So you have to mix that.”
The veteran Bears safety and defensive leader spoke about how Eberflus let him know this season was a fresh start. And Jackson said he’s entering that phase feeling good mentally, physically and emotionally.
“You’re at peace and comfortable with the team that we have, the way we work, the scheme, everything we’ve been through so far, the coaches,” Jackson said. “I’m getting the feeling that everyone is comfortable and ready to work, man.”
Jackson was open about not being happy with his production in recent years. That didn’t include interceptions in 2020 or 2021 after he had 10 in his first three seasons. So he made the decision to embrace the new staff instead of getting upset about having to start over with another set of coaches.
“I just feel like the years I had weren’t satisfied with them, they didn’t meet the expectations and the standards that I set for myself,” Jackson said. “So coming out this year is like a whole new start, a whole new season, a whole new team. I feel like a rookie coming in again, just learning, absorbing this game, man, and guiding my guys in the way I work and the way I do things.”
Rodgers went to the Aubrey Marcus podcast this week and discussed how his experience with the psychedelic drug ayahuasca has improved his mental health over the past two seasons.
Getsy, who was Rodgers’ quarterbacks coach in Green Bay, laughed when asked if he had accompanied Rodgers on trips.
“I wasn’t invited on those trips,” Getsy said. “I didn’t know all those things. … Whatever it takes, I guess.”
Of course, Getsy spent more time talking about Justin Fields and how the Bears quarterback is handling the ups and downs of learning a new offense.
“This is a process, right? And we emphasize every day that we are a process-driven team, and our drive is the same way,” Getsy said. “And it’s about making sure we get better every day. Whether the focus is improving on our protection settings or our hot settings or launching hot routes, whatever that setting is or the emphasis of the day, we just have to make sure we’re improving.
“And then the situational stuff, he can’t get enough of that. You’re talking about what makes great quarterbacks great. It’s just that experience of dealing with all the different situations.”
Thomas Graham Jr. will be out for a while with a hamstring injury, Eberflus said earlier this week. But Bears cornerbacks Kyler Gordon, Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley also sat out Friday, watching practice from the sidelines. Eberflus will not address the media until Saturday to potentially explain his absence.
Offensive tackle Teven Jenkins and defensive end Robert Quinn were among the other players who missed practice.
The Bears signed cornerback Davontae Harris and defensive lineman Trevon Coley before practice and released defensive back Jon Alexander and defensive lineman Auzoyah Alufohai.