Coming into focus

As another week of "Organized Training Sessions" came to an end Thursday, all the pieces are beginning to come together for Rex Grossman.

"When you have a revised offense in place, it's like trying to learn a completely new language," Grossman said. "It's part of the job. What I like is the fact that there is plenty of time to get this down before the season starts. You can see a difference already. At the first mini-camp we were all running around stumbling into each other. Now we are more like a coordinated unit. It's going to be very effective."

The quarterback credits offensive coordinator Terry Shea's ability to ease his players into the system at a manageable pace.

"Terry knows what he's doing," Grossman said. "He presents things to us in units. We master each one, then we move on. It's never more than we can handle at one time. As the players become more comfortable with he new plays, there's a noticeable increase in everybody's confidence level. We will take each segment and build on it until we have an integrated whole."

Shea's energy level often equals that of the players. He has been known to sprint down the field chasing a player to give them a pat on the back or a word of advice. On Wednesday Shea and secondary coach Vance Bedford shared verbal jabs over a collision between WR David Terrell and S Todd Johnson. His vibrant spirit has rubbed off on his players.

"Vance may be twenty years younger than coach Shea, but Shea was running rings around him," Terrell said. "He was all over the field. I don't know. Maybe it's all that Red Bull he's been drinking I guess we need to keep Shea away from the caffeine from now on. But truly, his personality rolls off on us. It keeps us going. We enjoy the speed of these practices. Everybody's energy level is up and it's fun out there."

RB Brock Forsey would tend to agree.

"I can't tell you how different these practices are from what we went through last year," Forsey said. "A lot more is expected from us out there and I think that the players are enjoying it much more. We are definitely looking forward to the start of the season just to get the chance to show what this team can do."

The insertion of optimism from Shea and the entire coaching staff has given the Bears a new outlook.

"Last year, it was tough. People were getting discouraged and football wasn't that much fun," Forsey said. "Now we have a new system in place. We're coming at things from a completely different point of view. It's taking a lot of practice time to get this down right but from what I can tell, this is working."

Lovie Smith's influence can't be overlooked as the new head coach has unified the players and his staff as a team.

"Lovie Smith is an incredible motivator," Grossman said. "He's very organized, amazingly intelligent and highly energetic. He passes his enthusiasm on to us. Coach Smith can be very quiet and soft-spoken but he definitely gets everybody's attention. He's the type of coach that you want to have as your teacher. He helps us to understand that we are all in this together and that we must depend on each other. That's something that was lacking here last season."

The Bears will break from on the field practices until the next set of OTAs begin on June 14th.

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