What makes Lovie smile? Practice.
If you follow any Bears on Twitter, you know two things:
1. They went to the Bulls win over the Heat last night and
2. They're ready for offseason training to start.
It's been more than four months since the season ended. With the five-game losing streak at the end of the season, and the team wants to move on from 2011. Not only that, they're bored. Earl Bennett is shooting underwear commercials. J'Marcus Webb created a web series where he answers fans questions with bad sound. Robbie Gould is trying to sell you Volkswagens. Kahlil Bell can't eat chips and salsa properly.
They need football.
They're not the only ones. Though it's just voluntary workouts, Lovie Smith is excited to see his team in one place. Though several Bears have been working out and rehabbing injuries on their own time at Halas Hall, this is the first time in 2012 that Smith will get to work with all of the new additions to the Bears roster.
“I’m very excited about the moves,” he said to the Bears official website. “In the offseason you’re trying to improve your ballclub. We’ve done that, starting off with signing some of our own players. That was big for us to bring back some of our guys, and then some of the new additions. We feel like we have a special group.”
One thing he is not worried about is players who are under contract skipping out on the workouts. Though Matt Forte won't be there because he still doesn't have a signed contract, Smith expects to see the rest of the team.
“In my time here, even when we have voluntary things going on, our guys show up,” he said. “Normally when you have an opportunity to get better and to work together as a team, you take advantage of that. I expect to see most of the players here, and hopefully that will be the case. I know the coaching staff will be there and we’re excited about our first day and we’ll go from there.”
After the lockout took away off-season football activities in 2011, this is a welcome change for fans and media, too. The sight of Jay Cutler throwing to Brandon Marshall and the Bears newly restocked secondary isn't quite as exciting as watching an actual game, but it's enough to sate our football-hungry hearts for a few months.