With one day remaining in the Chicago Bears’ voluntary offseason program, new coach Matt Eberfluss has little question about getting his “hits” theory for players.
The hustle — or at least the intensity — of the last few OTAs prompted the NFL to outfit the NFL with a planned day on the field on Tuesday. The Bears were back at the Walter Peyton Center on Wednesday with fewer collisions and less contact this season than they are without full pads.
Safety Jaquan Brisker collided with wide receiver Welles Jones on a play in the flat for a pass breakup, with both players going on the field, but it was about the only notable contact that the teams had to collectively bargain for the purpose of the rules. Should have avoided. player safety.
Defense was the big winner that day. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson also had a good pass breakup (without a collision), and safety DeAndre Houston-Carson intercepted quarterback Justin Fields twice. Eberfluss noted that the offense was victorious in Monday’s session – held without media – and said he counted 11 chunk pass plays.
Eberfluss stated that neither he nor the organization was fined by the league. One issue facing the Bears: The NFLPA will be on the lookout for potential repeat violations.
The players’ union had a representative at an OTA in May, when the sessions were too physical. The Bears were warned, and when similar issues appeared in subsequent OTA videos, the NFL forced them to cancel Tuesday’s season.
In the future the penalties could be more severe – the team could lose the minicamp dates. In some cases draft picks have been taken away.
“The hustle can be there and it is, and you can see it,” Eberfluss said. “You guys were in practice. They hurl abuses. They run on the defense. Man, we run.
“But the intensity part. Until we get the pads, there may be a focus part of intensity but not the physical part. Once we get the pads in training camp, that’s when we’re going to focus on that. That’s how we play the intensity piece. Can’t do that at this time of year.
“We’re excited where we are with this. There’s people out there, they’re flying around, they’re really moving towards the ball. It feels fast to me.”
A young roster with many fresh faces eager to impress the new front office and coaching staff has made for a more vigorous season at a time when the more experienced and established programs don’t have a leg up, said Cole Kemet, a tight end to the third year. gas pedal.
“We are going 100% and you are being asked to go 100% and you want to show up for a new employee,” Kemet said. “You have youngsters and boys like me who want to stick around and be around. …and I think it’s a balance.
“As players … we have to learn as a group how to practice properly and take care of each other and keep people off the field. And practice in a way that works for everyone.” where we are able to put 100% full effort that you can into these things, but still keep everyone safe and keep everyone off the ground.
“I think since Day 1 … it’s just been night and day with the way we’ve been practicing.”
Left guard Cody Whitehair said it was difficult to run at full speed as a lineman in practice without wearing a pad.
“But this team is young and we need that intense practice and expectation from the group,” he said. “We have a lot of young people and the expectations are high, so you have to expect an intense exercise. I think people have worked really hard and gained a lot from it.”
Regardless of penalties, players have a very good understanding of what coaches will expect in training camp when legitimate football evaluations begin.
“When we get the pads, it’s going to be a whole lot,” said Kemet, who uses up his unplanned day on Tuesday to play golf. “We’re going to have it, and it’ll be good for everyone. We’re just building up to it.”
“We are getting this break here soon. It will be on everyone to take care of their bodies during this time and make sure they are staying in shape and ready to roll when the first day arrives.”