“We will practice fast...Unless I tell you it’s a different speed, it’s full speed, we’re rolling.”
Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis left no margin for questions when addressing Bears rookies during rookie minicamp in May.
The philosophy comes from the top down; Marc Trestman has decided to place a premium on full speed practices that leave players focused and ready for a rapid transition to regular season game action.
So far, rookies have faced the brunt of the running and gunning, battling their way through three days of rookie minicamp followed by the customary three weeks of veteran-included activities that wrapped up on June 6th.
The Bears have been greeted with a track meet atmosphere, forced to hit the ground running from the start of the offseason training slate. Trestman’s ideology is all too perfect in the wake of the eternally plodding wait-and-see approach of Lovie Smith that often left talented Chicago squads on the fringe of football’s elite.
Trestman is sending a message that there is no time to stop and evaluate, only the ability to execute in the present moment and prepare to duplicate that success going forward. One can only hope that a franchise as seemingly obdurate as the Bears can embrace the changes, one facet at a time.
Rookies come into the league with a markedly fresher register than their veteran counterparts, and in most cases are brought into the fold as ideal contributors to a team’s current scheme. Though still green to the NFL game, first year players represent the changing tides of a new regime and often hold an advantage over more tenured members of the roster when a new coach takes the helm.
Preferential edge or not, the newly minted members of the Bears’ roster had varying levels of success in applying their skills early on in workouts. Take a look at how each of the Bears’ six 2013 draftees have performed on an A through F grading scale after completing minicamp and OTAs.