At the end of Monday’s abbreviated practice, Bears coach Marc Trestman had his usual circuit of chats with various individuals or position groups.
This time, however, he also brought together one particularly diverse group that extended across position lines.
The players were just the rookies, ranging from linebacker Jonathan Bostic and Khaseem Greene to running back Michael Ford to offensive linemen like Kyle Long.
Trestman’s message was direct and forceful: “Coach was urging us to stay up and stay ready,” said rookie defensive end Cornelius Washington. “It’s our job and that’s what we came here to do.”
[RELATED: Trestman not worried about Bears' balance]
Injuries on the defensive line and most recently at linebacker underscored Trestman’s point, which stressed special teams work. Bostic had played exclusively on special teams prior to the season-ending chest injury to middle linebacker D.J. Williams but was pressed into service late in the Giants game.
And Trestman apparently is not a bad motivator, based on what one rookie lineman was volunteering to do.
[RELATED: Bostic's path with Bears accelerates]
“He was just telling us that with veterans getting hurt, we’re going to need people, need rookies to step up,” said rookie tackle Jordan Mills. “Especially on special teams, if you mess up, mess up at 100 percent [speed]. It’s just showing him and the rest of the coaches that you want to make the team better.”
So wait, 315-pound Mills on punt coverage?
“I’ll do it,” Mills said, laughing. “I wouldn’t mind, maybe blowing up a wedge or some blocking. But I asked Coach ‘Joe De’ [special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis] and he said, ‘no!’”