Bourbonnais, IL — Thursday would have been Walter Payton’s 65th birthday. So it’s only fitting that the Beats would report to training camp on the same day. It has to be a good sign, right?
The guys have a lot of high expectations coming into camp. While the players say it’s fun to give fans something to look forward to they know the public’s expectations don’t matter. They’ve got their own expectations to deal with.
“We put a product out on the field that we were proud of and we want to pick back up where we left off,” said Mitch Trubisky during his first camp press conference. “At the same time, we didn’t accomplish what we did last year because we were worried about expectations. Nobody expected us to do what we did last year.”
“There are all types of different pressures throughout the year, right?,” said defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. “Who’s saying this, who’s doing that, what was the outcome of this game, that game? But the best pressure that we can put on ourselves is from inside.”
For a lot of NFL players, the start of training camp means the end of their summer fun, but for the Bears, the fun is just starting.
No one was more in the mood for some fun than third-year running back Tarik Cohen who raced into camp in a sporty three-wheel vehicle.
Having fun is something the guys are more than familiar with. They created their “Club Dub” last season. But Trubisky says it was receiver Taylor Gabriel who reminded him they need to live more in the moment this year.
“He’s like ‘We got to live in the moment.’ Last year we were kind of like, we kind of rode this wave and it was a lot of fun, but we didn’t actually realize what we were doing. We were kind of just going through it. So we’ve just got to make sure whatever we accomplish or whatever we do this year we’ve just got to live in the moment and really enjoy it.”
The Bears first practice will be Friday at 3 p.m. It will be closed to the public. The first public practice will be Saturday morning at 8:15.