Since the 2013 season ended, the Bears have signed Jay Cutler to a seven-year contract extension, added Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston to its defensive line, and drafted cornerback Kyle Fuller in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Bears roster — specifically the 30th-ranked defense in yards allowed last year — will have a different look in 2014, which has ignited competition at several positions heading into training camp.
With the Bears looking to avoid a fourth consecutive postseason miss, defensive end David Bass said he's "very eager" to get back on the field to right the wrong.
"It's been a long offseason, especially ending how we ended last year," he said. "We have a lot to prove, so we're ready to get back, mesh as a team, and get ready for Week 1."
In Week 11 vs. Baltimore last season, Bass registered his first career interception and turned it into a touchdown in the Bears' 23-20 overtime win. He followed it up with a LeBron James-like celebration "that kind of just happened."
Asked if he has a new celebration in his pocket for the 2014 season, Bass responded: "No. Whatever the first thing that comes to my mind."
But before Bears training camp kicks off in a little more than two weeks, Bass and teammate Kelvin Hayden, who partnered with the Garfield Park Gators youth football team, will host a "Silence the Violence" football camp on Friday/Saturday, July 11-12 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Sacks Field in Garfield Park, in an effort to play competitive tackle football in "a safe, structured and enjoyable environment."
"We're hoping to have a good turn out. Whether it's two kids or 200 kids that come out, we're going to make the most of it," Bass said. "We're going to go through football drills, talk to them a little about life, and, especially in Chicago, with the crime as high as it is, it's a good outlet for the kids to get out and see some famous faces, people they look up to. I remember when I was in their shoes, I would've died to be next to someone playing on TV or doing what I dreamed of doing when I grow up. Just to be out there with them, run around with them, have fun ... and show them that all their dreams are possible, that's going to be huge."