Sun, 20 Sep 2020

Quick Hits: Nagy glad players in 'exceptional shape'

Chicago Bears
06 Aug 2020, 16:37 GMT+10

Coach Matt Nagy was both pleased and relieved to see that Bears players reported to Halas Hall for training camp in excellent physical condition.

"Our players, to their credit, they've come into camp in exceptional shape," Nagy said Wednesday during a conference call with the media. "We weren't sure how that was going to happen, not knowing where they were and what they had to be able to work out in during the quarantine. But I'm just really proud of the players for the way that they came into shape."

Nagy was confident that Bears players would remain in peak physical condition. But with the offseason program conducted entirely on a virtual basis due to COVID-19, they were away from the facility for seven months and spent much of that time without access to gyms that were closed.

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"You kind of hold your breath when you haven't seen these guys this whole time," Nagy said. "I know what I was doing and there's others, too, and there's a lot more eating than there is working out over that quarantine. And so you never really know where these guys are at. But I know our guys and just from seeing them now, they made an executive decision as a whole that they're going to work their tails off and get in good shape. And if they're going to eat during the quarantine, they're going to do a lot of working out."

Opting out: Nagy wasn't sure whether any other Bears players will join nose tackle Eddie Goldman and safety Jordan Lucas in opting out for the 2020 season due to the coronavirus. The NFL deadline to do so is 3 p.m. (CT) Thursday.

"We have no idea," Nagy said. "I think right now the pulse of our team, we're in a really good place. We're kind of in a rhythm right now. You ask some of the guys how they're feeling in regards to the setup that we have here, and controlling what we can control is giving them a lot of space.

"And then also just talking through this whole procedure, everything about it, we spent a lot of time into where we're at and how we go about it and the details of everything and then we let them make their decision. But I think for them it's just to make the best decision for them, and then we fully support anybody that does that."

Nagy described Goldman and Lucas as "two really good people that had to make tough decisions."

"They weren't easy decisions," Nagy said. "And we had good conversations with them. You can call both of them right now and find out the support that they had from us as an organization as 100 percent all in, and it's emotional. It's not easy. This isn't just something of a click of a button: 'I'm opting out.' No, there's a lot of thought that goes into this for these guys. So we support them from both ways."

Leaving the bubble: While the Bears have put extensive measures in place to keep players, coaches and staff members safe while they're at Halas Hall, it's crucial for them to avoid risky situations when they're outside the facility.

"It always comes back to when you're outside of this bubble of Halas Hall, you need to be able to be smart and be selfless, not selfish," Nagy said. "That's not just the players, I want to make that clear. There's a lot of other people in this bubble right now that have the same accountability."

On guard: Position battles really won't begin until the Bears start practicing in pads Aug. 17, but one to monitor will be held at right guard.

"We just see that as a competition where you've got a guy with a lot of experience in Germain Ifedi versus a guy with not as much experience [in Rashaad Coward], but two really good guys that we have a lot of belief in with an offensive line coach in Juan Castillo that believes heavily in both of them," Nagy said. "Competition across the board for them, just like other positions, we've got to be really detailed with how we give reps and with how we evaluate that position."

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