Emery: No Bears contracts addressed this year
BOURBONNAIS — General manager Phil Emery and new head coach Marc Trestman want to establish a laserlike focus for the Bears this season.
Both laid out their plans for the 2013 season Wednesday, the day players reported to Olivet Nazarene University for the Bears' 12th consecutive training camp here.
Emery said that with all 90 players under contract there should be no distractions, and everyone should have a single-minded purpose of achieving the ultimate goal: a Super Bowl championship.
But there are many key starters coming out of long-term contracts this season (Jay Cutler, Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, Henry Melton, Robbie Gould, Corey Wootton, Major Wright, Devin Hester and J'Marcus Webb).
And there are other integral veterans on one-year deals (linebackers James Anderson and D.J. Williams and guard Matt Slauson).
According to Emery, none of them will have their contracts addressed until next year.
“I prefer the focus to be on the field in the present tense, fully dialed in on this season and our efforts to win championships,” Emery said. “But it also is a reflection of where we are with the cap.
“You have to have room, both cap and cash, to make those type of extensions, and we're just not in that position.
“We are always open to dialogue with our players and with their agents, but … I do not anticipate that we will do any extensions of contracts during this season.”
Emery and Trestman know the difficulties that lie ahead. Despite last season's 10-6 record, the Bears missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six years, resulting in the firing of Lovie Smith.
“We know that road is hard,” Emery said. “It's a dusty road. It's a long highway. It's a long journey. It has steps each and every day along the way. We are relentless in our efforts to achieve that goal, and we will continue on a daily basis.”
That begins in earnest with Friday's first practice and will pick up a notch Sunday when the Bears will be in pads for the first time.
“We're going to see collisions at the line of scrimmage. It will be much more physical,” Trestman said of Sunday's practice. “You'll see (plays) finished through the quarterback; certainly not at the quarterback (though).
“We're going to be very, very smart about what we do. You're not going to see players on the ground. You're not going to experience scrimmages.
“You're going to see very, very few collisions in the perimeter because we're going to be practicing the concepts of cooperation and respect among our team.
“But with our offensive and defensive lines and at the second level, (there will be) collisions (and) with our linebackers and defensive backs that are close to the line of scrimmage.”
There will be some contact, but Trestman believes in preserving players, not beating them up.
“There won't be any tackling,” he said. “Running backs will be allowed to finish, and everybody can go and run to the ball. You won't see grabbing for jerseys; you'll see minimal tipped balls.”
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