BOURBONNAIS — The Bears wrapped up 2013 training camp in Bourbonnais on Tuesday on a quiet note, as the team practiced in shells for the first time since putting the pads on July 28th.
With a home preseason game on Thursday night against the Chargers, Marc Trestman treated practice like a Friday during the season.
The key to camp was installing the new offense, among other things, and the positive Trestman — to no one’s surprise — was pleased with how his first camp went overall.
“We’ve been able to operate each and every day to the max and execute the plan of what we wanted to get accomplished in training camp,” he said. “Moving people around, getting our offense installed, having to go up against a terrific defense each and every day, seeing our young players develop — a lot of good things.”
It has been clear throughout camp that the offense still has some kinks to work out, and Jay Cutler threw another interception on Tuesday — this one by Tim Jennings at the goal line on an out route intended for Brandon Marshall. Jennings returned the pick to plenty of cheers and bowed to the fans in the opposite endzone.
“I love [turnovers] as the head coach, I’m disappointed when it happens from an offensive standpoint, obviously,” Trestman said. “It’s training camp. It’s practice. We don’t want to see it any time, but that’s why we’re here, to get better and clean up our football.
“We’re going to fail during practice, and how we respond, as I’ve said before, is the most important thing.”
We’ll continue to learn more about where the offense is at as the preseason games pick up, and we should see more from the first-team offense on Thursday night. Cutler wouldn’t go into detail on where he thinks the unit is with the new system after three weeks of camp.
“We're moving along. I don't think I can pinpoint exactly where we're at, but we're definitely getting better each and every day,” he said. “Like I just said, there's ups and downs and there's positives and negatives. We're trying to look at the negatives and try to fix those as quickly as possible and continue to find more and more positives each and every day.”
Trestman’s challenge overall is improving a team that went 10-6 last year. He explained where he has seen progress with training camp wrapping up.
“Just the work ethic of the team I think was built. We’ve got a chance to have a real strong backbone. It won’t be the same team as it was last year, but we think it can be better,” he said. “We’re working to be better and that’s a good thing. That’s all we’ve tried to do each and every day.”