Linebacker Shea McClellin made himself news with an offseason training regimen done on his own, away from the Bears. He is not alone in his approach, and in fact he was doing what Bears and others once did covertly simply because they did not trust the in house strength-and-conditioning programs, although trust is not the issue now.
Many 1985 Bears credit weightlifting legend Clyde Emrich with devising unique drills for functional strength, including such things as taking the offensive and defensive linemen to municipal dumps and lifting huge chunks of broken concrete. But more than a few players were not fans of others running the offseason programs, so after doing the minimum at Halas Hall, they would head off to work with their private gurus. Players did not trust certain in-house staff, either to provide optimal physical training, or to keep what was said in the weight room in the weight room.
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But the CBA has limited what teams can do, effectively forcing players like McClellin to look outside for the work they need.
“People have to understand about the new CBA,” said GM Phil Emery earlier this week on WSCR-AM 670’s “The Mully and Hanley Show.” “What Shea did, we got to see the results. But that was not atypical anymore. We have lost the benefit of having the players in the building starting around the third week of March.
“Now it’s the third or fourth week of April, which is significant. Instead of having a 12-week program, we have an eight-week program. They had to go out and seek one-on-one relationships with trainers because they’re not in our building.”