LAKE FOREST, Ill. — For the second year in a row, John Fox gave Bears players an early start to their summer vacation by ending Day 3 of minicamp early.
“The players deserved it,” Fox said. “We had great participation for ‘involuntary workouts.’ We had great participation, great effort. That was their reward today. So they’re off into their break and trust that they’ll be ready to roll when they come back and report, whether they’re a rookie on [July] 19th or a vet on the 26th.”
The team now has a six-week summer break before reporting to Bourbonnais for the start of training camp. It can sometimes be a tenuous time in the NFL, but Fox says it’s all about trust.
“There's a lot of trust that goes on in football, whether it's the guy next to you, the guy at your position,” he said. “Under the new CBA this is what it is — they go away for six weeks. I think you have to have that trust. They're all wearing that same name on their back. And to be accountable and dependable for each other. Knock on wood, we haven't had a lot of those situations and hopefully that'll be the case when they report back.”
Fox said the team focused on situational football during the offseason training program, which included 10 OTA practices that preceded the three-day minicamp.
“We've been able to create some of the environments we'll have in games,” he said. “Hopefully the more they do it the better they'll get at it.”
Entering his third season as head coach, Fox said, “this is the most encouraged I’ve been in my tenure here.”
Balancing the reps: Over the next six weeks, Fox and the offensive coaching staff will work to figure out how they will run practices in Bourbonnais to best divide reps between Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky and Mark Sanchez.
“The biggest thing is creating the reps for all three quarterbacks and still developing the ones you think are proven the most worthy,” he said. “The way our practices are set up, we may give a certain group maybe more reps at the end of the practice where they're not quite as set as some people at that position. So they need those type of reps even though it's not games, it's still live football for the most part and making those decisions. A big part of being quarterback is the decision-making and the more opportunities we can put them in that position the better.”
Trubisky’s contract situation: As the Bears wrapped up minicamp, the No. 2 pick of the draft still was not under contract, but Fox said he was not concerned.
“In today's climate as opposed to say 10 years ago it's completely different,” he said. “I know there was a holdout a year ago but I don't expect to see any of that this year.”
Trubisky is currently one of 10 first-round picks who has yet to sign his rookie deal.