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Trestman mixes up Bears practice in prep for season

BOURBONNAIS — The Bears’ final practice as a whole had a different look than what we’ve seen in the Marc Trestman era, even though it began with a “déjà vu all over again” moment. On the first play, Jay Cutler’s pass got batted at the line and intercepted, which happened three times the previous day.

After that, though, the offense settled down, as Marc Trestman got the team ready for the regular season in what he dubbed the “most important practice of the year.” 

“We did everything from the sideline today — there were no scripts or preparation for the players,” he explained. “We gave the coaches and the players to work situational football like it would be in the game.”

The format allowed the team to get used to a packed sideline, which they will experience with 90 players in the first couple preseason games. It also wasn’t a practice designed necessarily for Friday night’s preseason opener in Carolina, Trestman said, but for the whole 2013 campaign.

“We weren’t practicing to get ready for the game, we were practicing to get ready for the season,” he said. “The difference is, they weren’t getting coaching on the field. You didn’t feel the energy that comes with coaches moving them along, they had to do it on their own.

“It’s a great exercise. … Everybody needs to feel that dynamic and we try to get them a head start. Friday night should come easier to all of us.”

We had become accustomed to the vocal coaches on staff, including Trestman, motivating players during the team drills from the field, but on Wednesday it was done from the sideline. The Bears also worked heavily on special teams, with Trestman saying they put an emphasis on the extra practice in transitioning on and off the field.

There were still several pre-snap penalties on both sides of the ball, and Trestman made it clear that those are not only focal points, but also team penalties.

“If one or two guys are jumping offsides, the team isn’t focused. … If it’s one or two of us, it’s all of us. We’ve got to continue to focus in and lock in to that area.”