By Adam Hoge-
BOURBONNAIS, Ill (CBS) — Brandon Marshall underwent the third hip surgery of his career this offseason and while the Bears say he is healthy, it is still a big enough issue that he will monitor it throughout the preseason.
“No limitations, but we’re going to be smart,” Marshall said after arriving to Olivet Nazarene University for training camp Wednesday. “I’m going into my eighth year, had a few hip surgeries. Nothing major, but at the same time, we start playing games in September, so that’s what I’m preparing for.”
Marshall said he expects to have some days off during training camp, which is significant because he missed most of the Bears’ offseason workouts after having the arthroscopic procedure done in January. With first-year head coach Marc Trestman installing a completely new offense, Marshall still needs the reps, even if he’s an eight-year veteran.
“It’s very important to get out there with your teammates, build that chemistry, learn the offense, get rest, but at the same time, if I’m not healthy, all that doesn’t matter,” he said. “So I’m going to listen to my body and go as it tells me.”
The entire team will undergo physicals Thursday and Marshall should pass, considering he was cleared to return to the field earlier this offseason.
“Our anticipation is that all of our players will be healthy enough to practice on Friday — that they will all receive medical clearance to participate fully in practice on Friday,” general manager Phil Emery said. “Of course, we won’t know that exactly. I’m just being honest. You always have situations that come up, but right now Brandon is healthy. We anticipate that he will fully pass his physical, that he will pass his conditioning test and that he’ll practice on Friday.”
It will be interesting to see if that will still be the case Sunday when the pads go on.
Arriving In Style
Consider Brandon Marshall the first NFL player to show up to training camp with a Segway.
The wide receiver caught everyone off guard Wednesday when he rolled up to camp in his SUV, opened the trunk and pulled out a Segway.
“I don’t think I’ll be riding it for too much longer,” he said. “I don’t think Phil Emery and Coach Trestman are going to like this too much, but hey man, I love having fun.”
Marshall said the Segway was a birthday gift from his wife.
“I almost bought the whole O-line and all the wide receivers a Segway, but I don’t think they are athletic enough,” he joked. “The receivers are, but not the O-line.”
No Lack Of Leadership
With the coaching turnover and the loss of Brian Urlacher, many are wondering if the solid leadership amongst veterans will be at the same level as it was under Lovie Smith.
“Do not underestimate the leadership on this team to work toward and attain our goals,” Emery warned.
The general manager said he has seen very good leadership from both veterans and younger players. He specifically mentioned Julius Peppers running down Matt Forte 40-yards downfield in OTAs and Jay Cutler taking Forte, Martellus Bennett and Fendi Onobun aside on a off-day for extra work as specific examples. He also said first-round pick Kyle Long has established himself as a leader among the rookies.
Emery also praised the early leadership from the new coaching staff, saying there has been a good energy in the building since day 1 and has been consistent ever since.
“That is a testament of our staff and their skills to work toward a common goal,” Emery said.
Goals Haven’t Changed
After quickly congratulating the Blackhawks on their Stanley Cup, the general manager officially kicked off the Bears’ training camp by reiterating that the common goal is to win their own championship.
“All of our efforts, our skills, our talent, our time, will be spent with that goal in mind,” Emery said. “That comes from our ownership, comes from our president, comes from our staff, our coaches, all of our support personnel. We’re united in one common goal, to provide a winning culture and winning team on a consistent basis that competes for and wins championships.”
One goal. Sound familiar?
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.