Bears open training camp, and everything is happy, happy, happy

SHARE Bears open training camp, and everything is happy, happy, happy

So far, not a discouraging word about new Bears coach John Fox.

BOURBONNAIS – For any NFL team that has undergone a regime change, the first training-camp drill doesn’t involve a football or pads or even film study. It involves explaining to the media why everything is so much better than it was last season.

And so on Wednesday, as Bears players reported to camp, you couldn’t take a step without hearing about the fresh breeze blowing through the organization. The bad actors are gone from the locker room, we were told. New coach John Fox and new general manager Ryan Pace are straight shooters, we were told.

No complaints here. Considering the Bears went 5-11 in a season that made you want to gouge your eyes out, I wouldn’t have cared if the new additions spoken so lovingly Wednesdays turned out to be a family of hedgehogs.

Anything but what we witnessed last year with Phil Emery, Marc Trestman & Co.

“You can definitely tell that a lot of the walls that had been built for whatever reason in the locker room have been knocked down,’’ guard Kyle Long said. “It’s kind of an open-air environment for a lot of guys between upstairs and downstairs. It’s a great relationship between players, coaches, staff, personnel. Everybody’s really cool. It’s nice to have that one goal in mind.’’

It was no secret that the Bears were bad on the field and a mess in some corners of the locker room last season. But Long suggested it was messed up at a very basic level.

“In the meeting rooms and the locker room, you want to be able to have a relationship with these guys – genuine relationships,’’ he said. “That happens through communication. Being able to hang out with a guy and not have to worry about whatever you’re thinking about. You’re on a team together, man. Get along. We’re all in this together.’’

Eventually, the games will start. Until then, enjoy the fresh air.

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