By Adam Hoge-
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (CBS) — When new Bears head coach Marc Trestman said there would be no tackling and minimal contact during training camp, he meant it.
The offensive and defensive lines are still allowed to collide, but elsewhere on the field, it’s pretty much touch football.
And I can’t help but notice that has left the secondary with almost no tackling practice.
“That’s something we don’t really work on,” Conte told me after Wednesday’s practice. “And it’s something that does kind of get lost with the way the NFL is, but it’s more important to be healthy and not have those injuries so it’s kind of a trade off I guess.”
The trade off is that after a week of training camp, Conte feels better than he did in his previous two under Lovie Smith and certainly better than he ever did during college.
“In college, you’re hitting every day,” he said. “You’re doing tackling drills. We don’t tackle at all, so that’s really what I think the preseason is for. That’s when you should work on your tackling.”
Of course, reps for first-teamers can be limited during preseason games so that still leaves a pretty big jump to live action when the Bears take the field against the Bengals Week 1. Thus, it’s important for the players to take individual drills seriously and do everything except make contact during team periods.
“In practice, it’s just all about taking the right angles and being in position for that contact without actually having the contact. But it’s something you have to get used to,” Conte said.
Of course, the players aren’t really complaining about the lack of contact during Trestman’s fast-paced practices that are already demanding.
“It’s hard to bang your body and hit every single day,” Conte added. “I remember in college, half the team wouldn’t be able to practice after a week of hitting. It’s rough. It’s just something your body can’t do all the time. It really is a trade off and something that comes with the way the NFL is.”
– After a couple of injuries, depth is already being tested on the offensive line.
– Middle linebacker D.J. Williams suffered a significant calf injury Wednesday and is week-to-week.
– Dan Durkin takes a look at sixth-round pick Cornelius Washington’s college film to analyze what kind of impact he can have this season.
– Dan Hawkins, Marc Trestman’s replacement in Montreal, has already been fired.
9 a.m. practice at Olivet Nazarene University.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.