The Chicago Bears put the finishing touches on their off-season workouts with one last mini-camp starting today that's scheduled to conclude on Tuesday. Then what?
Everyone assumes players and coaches go their separate ways searching for quality down time with friends and family prior to training camp. That really is not the case at all.
For coaches, the six weeks leading up to training camp is their most significant time off. They have already prepared for training camp by writing up the install schedule before they depart on vacation. It is well-deserved family time, because coaches have been busy since the 2011 season ended. They have broken down all film which includes players, opponents, free agents and draft prospects. Coaches have also diagnosed changes for 2012 like positional changes, philosophy and playbooks. They will soon be grinding again upon their return.
This is a coachs best opportunity to experience quality family time since the 2011 season concluded. Coaches do come back re-energized for training camp in late July.
Players are a different story. They have been building a base since the off-season workout program started. It's really not a time to destroy that foundation, but rather to build upon it. A player can always get stronger, faster and quicker.
It's also a good time to cover areas of the playbook that were a struggle during OTAs. I just know from my playing experience, time off prior to training camp was spent picking up the pace, not a time for rest and relaxation. Six weeks for family and friends were already utilized after the last game. Its really a good time for players to get honed in giving themselves the best opportunity to make the roster in the fall.
If a player is worth his salt, this time is best-used to prepare mentally and physically for not only training camp, but also the entire season. If players have, then training camp will not be stressful nor will it be a struggle at all.