Bears Camp Countdown

BOURBONNAIS-The Bears are settled in here in Bourbonnais. They'll feel better after they go through this gate at nine tomorrow morning for their first practice. Today they had conditioning tests and meetings laying the mental groundwork for what's to come over the next three weeks.

It's a different feeling here than it was a year ago. The players have a better idea of what to expect from Marc Trestman and his coaching staff. And Trestman has a much better handle on what he has to work with. And there's added stability in that there are no contract clouds hanging over anyone's heads like there was a year ago. The Bears can simply go out and focus on football, and focus on refining their game in hoops of being a playoff team and possibly a Super Bowl contending team.

"Now we know each other. We know what to expect. We know what we're doing, but Obviously the same nervousness is there," says center Roberto Garza. "We've got to go out and perform each and every day and compete."

"We've got the guys. We've got the coaches. Now we've just got to put it together. Hopefully everything gels and works out," says linebacker D.J. Williams.

You might recall last year Trestman was known for running around and keeping his practices moving at a fast pace. We'll see more of the same here this year. And Trestman says he'll do a lot of what he calls two-spotting.

"Where you'll see two practices going on at the same time," says Trestman. "You may have seen a little bit of that in minicamps. That'll provide more opportunity for coaching and more opportunity to develop our younger players."

The Bears were eight and eight in Trestman's first season last year. That record won't come close to cutting it this year. Trestman is a teacher. He won't be satisfied until he sees a flawless team.

"We want to be the best in all three phases, and we want to be the best team we can possibly be and that starts tomorrow. We want the expectations, and we have high expectations. Our players have set it. Our players feel it."

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