Tracy Porter, Kevin White and the rest of the Bears didn’t indicate whether they planned on attending prom or Turnabout, but a first-time Saturday night practice at a local high school was something players enjoyed, for some the first time they’d been to a high school stadium since the last time they’d played in theirs growing up.
“I love it,” said White, only four years out of high school himself. “It reminded me of high school playing under the lights. Got the band playing, the music going, the fans…I love it.”
For Porter, the back-to-the-future moment was a wee bit further back.
“I don’t want to show my age or anything,” he said, smiling, “but man, I haven’t been to a high school stadium since I was in high school in 2004. To come back and have the guys here at Warren Township, it was great. They came out and gave us a great atmosphere to practice in and it was just a different feel than being at Halas all the time and come out and let those guys see us practice, it was big.”
The Bears held practice at Warren High School before a crowd estimated at about 6,000 and early reactions were that the organization hopes to repeat at different schools in coming years.
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“It was great,” said coach John Fox. “Actually I told the players that if I can remember high school, anybody there can. But it brings back memories. It was a good environment. I’d like to thank these [Warren] guys for having us out here. They did a nice job presenting it.”
The 90-minute session was notable for the most part because No. 1 running back Jeremy Langford was held out with a foot injury suffered Thursday night in the loss to the New England Patriots. Langford was wearing a walking boot on his left foot but was able to be semi-running between areas of practice.
Right guard Kyle Long also was among the non-practicers, given the evening off with a sore shoulder. Cornerback Kyle Fuller, who underwent a knee scope last week, attended practice without crutches or wearing any special knee support.
“At the end of the day, if they’re best served to not be out here, then they’re not out here,” Fox said. “You can call it precautionary, but it’s just doing what’s smart.”