Tomorrow will be the first tangible indication that the season has arrived. Although Fan Appreciation Day kind of wraps up the offseason for me, nothing tells me the beginning of the season is more imminent than the first weekly press conference of the season.
Things will work a little different this year. Since practices are in the morning, it might be more difficult to get players to attend. One of the reasons Jeff Tedford switched to morning practices is to open up more of the day for his players. Many players are taking advantage of the new schedule by getting right to their classes as soon as possible after practice. That may pose conflicts with the press conference.
As of now, Tedford and quarterback Kevin Riley will appear each week. The media relations department will then get at least one other player to attend. That’s different than years past, when on average about five players would come by in addition to Tedford.
On the good side, players will still be available to the media after practice, like any other day, so it shouldn’t put the squeeze too badly on access.
Even though there was no game last weekend, the Bears still held a shorter practice today, like they will do on Mondays during the season. I was unable to attend as I worked on our season preview package which will appear in tomorrow’s paper. But I’m told, as expected, there were no real developments.
Tomorrow could be a big day for offensive lineman Matt Summers-Gavin. If he is able to do a lot in practice, he may be on pace to play Saturday. But if he is still pretty limited, it would seem his chances of returning for the game are not good. Throw in the fact that Summers-Gavin is supposed to move to right tackle when he returns and hasn’t taken any reps there, it seems the best he coudl do would be to return in a backup role, if he is able to come back at all.