Not since the initial days of the Jay Cutler era has a Bears’ training camp been this highly anticipated and budding with energy. That’s due to the arrival of Matt Nagy, the continued presence and growth of Mitchell Trubisky, and what seems to be a shifting culture concerning the Bears.
Luckily enough, the Bears announced their official 2018 camp schedule on Thursday afternoon to help take advantage of this Nagy-Trubisky honeymoon phase.
Here are the highlights and major notes of said schedule, as the Bears set up shop at Olivet Nazarene University in July for the 17th straight summer:
- Due to playing in the Hall of Fame game against the Ravens on August 2nd, the Bears report to camp a week earlier than normal on July 19th. That’s surely something a new coach like Nagy appreciates in the form of extra preparation and evaluation time.
- Every practice sans August 11th - which is a night practice at 7:10 P.M. and the last practice open to the public - starts at 8:15 A.M. Gates to the practice fields for open days open at 7:30 A.M. On August 11th, they will open at 6:30 P.M. Stay tuned for the cool fireworks no doubt purchased in Indiana afterwards.
- Just a thought, but the consistent earlier practice start times are likely to keep the Bears’ players fresher with more recovery time each day. A nod towards peak performance and helping guys last.
- During the day practice dates, camp grounds will still be open until 11:30 A.M. following events on the field for family and interactive events.
- Chicago’s first official practice comes on Saturday, July 21st, which is an open practice for fans to attend. The Bears’ first full pads practice is on July 22nd, also an open practice.
- Monday, July 30th has a “Military Appreciation” theme, the weekend of July 26th to the 28th is “Family Weekend”, and the weekend of August 4th through 6th has a “Blue & Orange” theme.
- 11 Bears’ training camp practices are open to the public this year, in contrast from the 10 that were open in 2017.
- As was procedure last year, anyone planning to attend open practices (July 21-23, July 26-28, July 30, August 4-6, August 11), needs a ticket required for entry. These tickets are free, of course, and can be found here.
The first wide-ranging taste of the Nagy and Trubisky era begins in a little under seven weeks. Something to get fired up about.
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for The Rock River Times, an editor for Windy City Gridiron and Inside The Pylon, and is a contributor to Pro Football Weekly and The Athletic Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.