"There's no feeling like it," said defensive end
"It was fun," said receiver
Bears players are confident that they will rebound from last year's disappointing 3-13 season.
"It's [about] redemption," Hicks said. "We want more than we got last year. We want a complete flip flop and I think we have the talent and the guys to do so. It's really just going to be about us coming together and being able to collectively push toward that goal."
The Bears' offseason program will continue through the middle of June. In accordance with the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, offseason programs are limited to nine weeks and consist of three phases.
During the first two weeks (Phase 1), activities are limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehab, with only strength and conditioning coaches allowed on the field with players. Helmets are prohibited, and footballs are permitted on the field only for quarterbacks throwing to receivers provided they are not covered by other players.
“It’s a killer because you want to get back to football,” Hicks said. “You want to get back to running around and doing the stuff that you enjoy doing. But it’s not time for that. You’ve really got to get everybody back on the same page, make sure everybody is physically and mentally ready to get back to the real grind.”
During weeks 3-5 of the program (Phase 2), all coaches are allowed on the field. Workouts may include individual player instruction and drills, but helmets and drills pitting the offense against the defense are prohibited.
The final four weeks (Phase 3) may include up to 10 days of organized team activity (OTA) workouts. All coaches are permitted on the field and players may wear helmets, but one-on-one drills involving the offense and defense are not allowed.