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Improving team speed is the latest trend in the NFL and organizations are willing to try anything to increase quickness.

In fact, the Bears went out and hired a speed consultant. Former NFL wide receiver Don Beebe has been working with more than a dozen Chicago players this off-season, conducting drills with different apparatus to increase their speed and explosiveness.

Beebe is concentrating on three areas. He's been working to improve lateral speed with running backs Anthony Thomas and Leon Johnson and punt returner Ahmad Merritt; explosive speed with defensive linemen Riley and Joe Tafoya; and overall 40-speed with wide receivers Marty Booker, David Terrell and Dez White.

Participants jump back and forth through a giant hoop as it rolls down the field, sprint 10 yards to grab a tennis ball before it takes a second bounce and pull a 60-pound machine, while attempting to run downfield.

Beebe, who was considered one of the NFL's fastest players, appeared in six Super Bowls during nine seasons with the Buffalo Bills (1989-94), Carolina Panthers (1995) and Green Bay Packers (1996-97). He entered the league as a third-round pick by Buffalo out of Chadron State.

Following his retirement, Beebe, an Aurora, Ill., native who grew up cheering for the Bears, formed the "House of Speed" with Dr. Jeff Schutt. They conduct speed camps from their home base in Yorkville, Ill., as well as throughout the nation with kids, young adults and professional athletes.

Beebe has previously worked with Arena Football League players, but this is the first time the 37-year-old has conducted drills with an NFL team.

He'll continue conducting drills with the club twice a week through June.

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