Bears Smith, Adams Dance Around Lockout

Anthony Adams was the first to pull his car up in the front row left side of the Maryville Academy parking lot.  He was there to receive the Ed Block Courage Award at an NFL -approved event.

With his son Anthony Jr. in tow, Adams greeted members of the Chicago media to talk about the empty feeling of the NFL lockout.

"It's strange" said Adams, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent once the lockout is lifted. He said he understands the feeling of not knowing where he will wind up playing.  

"I've been through it before," he said.

Players cannot have contact with their teams during the work stoppage, and vice versa.  So when asked about giving guidance to younger players about keeping up with their workout schedule, Adams offered, "the defensive linemen can talk to me, other players if they have a standout head coach, say, like a Lovie Smith could talk to him." 

Smith had just arrived at the event and was eavesdropping on the impromptu press conference. 

"Or not!"  Adams laughed "I just said that because Coach Smith was right there, we go by the rules."

This is the second time this week, the Bears head coach has run into a player at an NFL approved event, and he's not worried about violating the rules of the lockout. 

"We can be cordial" Smith said. "It's not like we see each other a lot."

For Smith and the team, it's business usual at Halas Hall. 

The front office is preparing for the draft, while the team of mostly veteran players are working out on their own. 

"Other teams may be struggling (to get their players organized)" Smith said referring to teams with new coaching staffs unlike the Bears veteran staff and mostly veteran roster.

"They're professionals. They know that we will eventually have a season and you need to be ready to go once we're told that it is time to go back to work."

While some NFL teams have already cut staff paychecks in the front office by 20-25 percent, the Bears have not, and say they won't until games are missed.

In the meantime, they'll just wait it out.

And go by the rules.

So as Smith sat down at his assigned seat for autographs, two seats away sat his locked out player.  Awkward? 

No.  Adams broke the ice, approached his head coach and asked, "Is this okay?" before givng a hug.

It's only business.

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