After a three-month hiatus, Bears players returned to Halas Hall en masse Tuesday for the start of the team's voluntary offseason program.
"Everybody's excited to be back," said receiver
"It's exciting to get back," said safety
Because they have a new head coach, the Bears were permitted to begin their offseason program the first week of April, giving them a two-week head start over teams without a new coach.
During the first two weeks of the program, activities are limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehab, with only strength and conditioning coaches allowed on the field with players.
In the second phase of the program, which begins the third week of April and includes a voluntary minicamp, all coaches will be allowed on the field to work with players.
"I think it's going to be fun," Bennett said. "I look forward to working with the new coaches and I know they're excited to work with us."
In addition to a new head coach, players will be working with new coordinators on offense (Aaron Kromer), defense (Mel Tucker) and special teams (Joe DeCamillis).
"I'm very excited," said defensive end
Introductions were necessary Tuesday given the number of new players in the locker room. Since the start of free agency March 12, the Bears have signed eight players from other teams.
The newcomers are left tackle
"I'm excited about the additions," Bennett said. "The Black Unicorn (Martellus Bennett) is a guy who can really stretch the field at his position, and we added some linemen, so I look forward to the season and really putting this all together."