Saturday, July 13, 2024

Chicago Bears Show Great Forward-Thinking With Practice Changes

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Nothing about football is simple. It is one of the most complex sports in existence. People talk about plays on the field, understanding wide receiver routes, audibles, and so on. Not enough recognize the preparation starts way before that. Sometimes, the details get downright overwhelming. The Chicago Bears provided a small glimpse of that forward-thinking with an update about, of all things, their practice fields. Adam Hoge of CHGO reported last year that the team was shifting to a new type of grass called Tahoma 31. Practice Field 2 was completed last year, and now Field 1 is undergoing the same changes ahead of training camp.

Why is this so important? Tahoma 31 also happens to be the same grass used on Soldier Field. That means the Bears will practice and play on the exact same type of turf. They won’t have to adjust to the surface difference anymore. Everything they do in practice can be executed in the same exact way during games.

Muscle memory is such an undervalued part of football. Players need to trust their footing when blocking, running routes, or dropping into coverage. Having heaters woven into the turf also means they’ll be able to practice outside in the elements as it gets colder.

The Chicago Bears continue to pay attention to the small things.

That much has been clear since GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus took over. Both seem to understand that helping players excel on the field isn’t just about training and calling plays. It is about putting them in an environment that allows them to thrive. Helping them practice on the same type of grass as the one they play on is something that would’ve been overlooked by other organizations. Some may not have seen the point, but not the Bears. They are intent on giving their players every possible advantage.

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A big reason Tacoma 31 was the choice by the organization was because it was denser. It could withstand the elements better going into the fall and winter, allowing for better footing. The only issue was the difficulty maintaining it. That doesn’t seem to bother the Chicago Bears brass. Eberflus felt the move would give his defense the best chance to execute at a high level on Sundays. Given how they finished last season, it is hard to fault him for such logic. The project continues.

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Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 13, 2024 6:52 am

Very intelligent move by the Bears. It was about time. Another half dozen factors are important to support muscle memory.

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