BOURBONNAIS -- Bears coach Marc Trestman says the excuse that the offense is in its first year in a new scheme won't be a valid one.
"We've got to go out and we've got to be ready on Sept. 8 (at home vs. the Cincinnati Bengals) with our players feeling like we can go out and beat anybody with expectations that we can," Trestman said. "And I believe we will.
"As coaches, we've got to put our guys in a position to succeed starting on Sept. 8, and we're going to work every day to make sure we get that done.
"We've got to be flexible enough to put together a team on all three sides of the ball that is going to put our football team in the best position to win."
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who is expected to participate in the first practice Friday despite off-season hip surgery, said it's OK with him if he doesn't duplicate last year's total of 118 receptions, a franchise record.
"That's fine," he said. "As long as we're winning … that's probably the reason I got hurt last year, I had so many receptions.
"So I'm actually looking forward to passing some along to (tight end) Martellus (Bennett) and (wide receiver) Alshon (Jeffery). I had 118 and the next guy had (44). That's a problem."
Depending on whom you ask, Thursday's series of three 300-yard shuttle runs for time is either a cause for worry or a team-building assessment of where everyone's fitness level is and where it needs to be.
Each position has a target time that must be met, although coach Marc Trestman said he doesn't plan any punitive measures for those who fail to finish under the deadline.
"I don't even look at it as a test," he said. "I look at it as an accountability exercise. The times are very minimal. We're not trying to run anybody off or wear anybody down. It's a minimalized test where everybody can see everybody out there for the day and see everybody running and see what kind of condition they're in.
"No. 1, it's an accountability test, and No. 2, it's an opportunity to see that if somebody is not ready to go it's a safety issue because those are going to be the guys on the ground.
"So it's very clear after seeing this done in the NFL and doing it five years in Montreal, that guys, because they are competitive, are going to come into it a little bit nervous.
"Based on what I saw in the spring, there isn't anybody who should have trouble finishing it."Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.