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How long until Bears D bonds with new coordinator Chuck Pagano? ‘It’s like dating, man’

Akiem Hicks grew close to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio before he left to become the Broncos’ head coach.

Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks to reporters after arriving for training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais,
Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Akiem Hicks grew close to defensive coordinator Vic Fangio before he left to become the -Broncos’ coach.

How long will it take to develop a similar relationship with new coordinator Chuck Pagano?

“It’s like dating, man,” the Bears defensive lineman said Thursday. “You can’t just rush in, you know? You got to let it grow, you got to let it mature.

“One day we’re probably going to have a beautiful relationship, and we’re getting to that point. So at this point, we’re just learning each other. We have a great deal of respect for everybody on that unit, right? We’ll see where it goes.”

When practice begins Friday, one major storyline will be how different the defense looks with a new coordinator compared to last season. While Pagano and most of his staff are new, the players aren’t. The only new starter in the base defense, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, will begin camp on the physically unable-to-perform list.

“That’s a benefit — having continuity, having the same guys being able to come back and play,” Hicks said.

Outside linebacker Khalil Mack, who called Pagano “one of the best people that I’ve had the chance to work with,” didn’t want to reveal how his role will change. Mack could rush at times from a defensive line position, as he did with the Raiders.

“Schematically, you can’t tell too much,” Mack said. “He’s going to put you in position to make plays, and that’s what it’s all about.”

No videos

The Bears begin camp with a closed-to-the-public practice Friday. When they open practice to fans at 8:15 a.m. Saturday, they’ll enforce a new rule. Video recording devices and cameras with lenses more than 12 inches long are prohibited — presumably to prevent fans from recording practice and posting long chunks of it on social media.

Fans are still allowed to take still photos with their phones or any camera with a lens less than 12 inches long.

This and that

After putting defensive lineman Jonathan Harris on the physically unable-to-perform list Monday with a hamstring issue, the Bears moved him back to the active roster.

• Receiver Allen Robinson reported to camp in a unique outfit — a Washington Nationals jersey, No. 44, with former President Barack Obama’s last name on the back. It was a gift from a friend.