Marc Trestman uses Bears’ first minicamp to introduce them to ‘our football’
BY ADAM L. JAHNS email@example.com April 20, 2013 12:46AM
Coach Marc Trestman said he and his staff challenged the Bears during minicamp. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 22, 2013 6:55AM
It was evident Marc Trestman didn’t know what to make of the question. And it was probably because the gathered media didn’t know what make of him, his team and everything going on at his first minicamp as the Bears’ coach.
‘‘Is your participation, is that to get everybody geared up and understand to go full speed? Is that the point?’’ a media member asked.
‘‘I don’t know what that means,’’ Trestman said of his running — sometimes sprinting — on the field with players between plays. ‘‘That’s just how I’ve been doing it. I like football, and I like moving around and making sure people are running to the ball. That’s kind of how I’ve done it.’’
And that’s how things are going to be.
Trestman talked a lot last week about installing ‘‘our football.’’ As in, the ‘‘No. 1 [goal], it’s just learning the conceptual side of our football.’’
So what is ‘‘our football’’?
It’s much too early to tell what this team will be after only three days of on-the-field work. But voluntary minicamp was clearly a jolt, as the Bears were cleansed of everything Lovie Smith. In many ways, minicamp was a fast-moving introduction to how things will be done moving forward.
‘‘Basically, what we’re trying to do in this camp is just get people lined up and understanding the principles of how to do things,’’ Trestman said.
Three days of on-the-field work did provide some glimpses:
◆ The entire minicamp had a pace to it, especially offensively. It was a whirlwind as players went through drills, plays and rotations quickly. They were given a lot to learn — 100 plays on the first day — and were expected to execute it quickly. This is an offense that’s going to be expected to do a lot and do it quickly.
‘‘We challenged them,’’ Trestman said.
◆ On defense, coordinator Mel Tucker will stress similar concepts as his predecessors because he wants ‘‘to hit the ground running.’’ But players noticed differences in Tucker’s approach and demeanor from those of Smith and Rod Marinelli.
‘‘Everything we do is important,’’ Tucker said. ‘‘We’ve had two weeks of meetings, which is very important, and getting them on the grass for the first time has been huge.’’
◆ Fundamentals will determine special teams. The Bears did drills not seen in years at Halas Hall. Even kick returner Devin Hester was thrust into tackling drills.
‘‘The biggest challenge, really, is you’re used to a certain practice style, and now it’s completely different from what it’s been,’’ special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said. ‘‘That’s the biggest challenge.’’
◆ Nothing is given anymore. A criticism about Smith was that he was too loyal to his own. The failed Hester-at-receiver experiment is the best example. Now Hester spends time with Robbie Gould, Patrick Mannelly and Adam Podlesh. Appeal to Trestman for a puff quote about a local player, and even that won’t even happen.
All the special-teams work — some of which starters took part in — and all the fast-moving drills are just part of the Bears’ evaluation process. They want to see who is buying into ‘‘our football.’’
‘‘Everything we’re doing is part of player evaluation — their demeanor, how they handle individual [drills], how we meet them,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘Every day is a job interview for every guy in terms of working.’’
Trestman also was confident three days were enough to continue his evaluations, even though he had the option of five.
‘‘We got enough in,’’ he said. ‘‘We try to measure ourselves by getting enough done on the field to introduce our football to this team.’’