LAKE FOREST – It’s vacation time for the Bears. Well, kind of.
The team wrapped up its three-day mandatory minicamp Thursday in the Walter Payton Center, and Marc Trestman spoke to the players in the auditorium at Halas Hall.
Trestman told the players: “It’s time to get away the next few weeks until training camp, but it’s not a vacation.”
“Guys have to get ready to go,” he said. “They have to have a plan to get ready to go, to optimize their strength and conditioning and to continue to develop their skills as we work.”
The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement has minimized practice time, especially in pads, and Trestman said he showed the team the differences between camp in 2000 and 2014, and that the players can take advantage of the limited practice time if they show up to Bourbonnais ready to go.
The practice featured many reps for some of the players on the bottom of the roster, working with second- and third-string units, and Trestman was pleased with the effort on getaway day.
“I thought today was really a good example of the kind of guys we have. They certainly could have had their cars started and one foot in the parking lot. That’s the way it is sometimes, on the last day going into a break, so to speak,” he said. “And that wasn’t the case and I told them that after practice. I thought they were locked in. The practice was fun.
“Good energy. Very efficient practice and competitive practice on both sides of the ball.”
Part of that energy came from the loudspeakers, as songs blared at the beginning of practice, including “Thunderstruck” and “Living on a Prayer.” Did the coach pipe in his own playlist to liven things up?
“I can’t say that it was,” Trestman said. “But there were a couple songs on there that I might want to put on my list.”
Attendance report: After missing the first two days of the mandatory minicamp, rookie defensive tackle Will Sutton was present and participating in drills. Kyle Long, Matt Slauson, Jordan Mills and Sherrick McManis did not practice. Chris Conte and offensive lineman James Dunbar were absent. Trestman said Conte has been at home with an illness that is contagious but is not considered to be serious.
Quick hits: Michael Ola played left guard, Taylor Boggs right guard and Eben Britton at right tackle with the makeshift first-team offensive line. … Nate Collins knocked down a Jerrod Johnson pass in team drills. … Demontre Hurst picked off a pass that Senorise Perry dropped, and M.D. Jennings drew plenty of praise from his defensive teammates for an interception on Jordan Palmer late in the session. … Chris Williams got the first crack on kickoff returns, followed by Armanti Edwards.