By Dan Bernstein– senior columnist

(CBS) He’s super-secretive by nature, so I’m thinking coach John Fox has some kind of special, proprietary knowledge of just how good the Bears are now.

Reporters are rarely allowed a glimpse of the magical training methods at Halas Hall, lest anything escape that state-of-the-art football laboratory and be used by opponents for nefarious purposes. Fox and his assembled group of thinkers don’t want their ways compromised, you see. And to hear him talk after the latest round of team activities, it’s all working to perfection.

“This is the most encouraged I’ve been, at least in my tenure,” Fox said Thursday after rewarding his players with a shortened final day of work.

“The players deserved it. We had great participation, great effort.”

Ribbons and trophies all around then, as Fox is giddy about the 2017 campaign improving on his 9-23 record here so far.

Perhaps he imported an entirely different roster for these practices than the one available publicly, or the players we know to be on the team have become bigger, faster, smarter and healthier due to heretofore unknown scientific advancements. With a proven turnaround specialist like Fox, anything is possible.

John Fox sees good things happening for the Bears, so we have that going for us.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Bernstein and Goff Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.