Most NFL players aren’t thrilled about training camp. Practices are long and tedious, plus there’s the stress of wondering how the team will perform in the regular season. One team didn’t have this mindset during training camp, however. In addition to putting his team through grueling drills, Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy was entertaining his players and transforming the team’s culture.
The Bears’ dance party
Coach Nagy understands how difficult training camp is on players. Rather than let one day bleed into the other, he worked to find innovative methods to make 2019 training camp memorable.
One of the ways he did this involved encouraging his players to show off their best moves in an American Idol-inspired dance party. The head coach served as the judge while the players laughed and danced in one of the more entertaining training exercises.
Nagy treats the Bears to tricks
In another surprising move, Nagy invited famed magician Matthew Furman to entertain the team. The coach had met Furman and enjoyed his show at the American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament. While watching the magician perform, an idea took root in Nagy’s mind.
He explained, “So one night I start thinking to myself, ‘How cool would it be to break up the monotony of training camp and get him in here to perform in front of the guys?'” He spoke to Furman, who liked the idea, and the pair hatched a plan.
The Bears players were delighted and eagerly shared stories about the event. The trick that most impressed the players involved tossing a deck of cards onto the ceiling only to have a single card, signed by Nagy, remain stuck to the ceiling. According to Taylor Gabriel, the card remained stuck to the ceiling long after Furman’s show ended.
It’s not all sunshine, dance parties, and magic tricks
While Nagy’s unorthodox approach to training camp garnered the players’ approval, the training sessions weren’t all fun and games. Three different fights broke out among Bears players.
The most recent tussle took place following a mock game. The incident involved the Bear’s right guard, Kyle Long, and defensive end, Jalen Dalton. It was reported that Long punched Dalton several times. The defensive end made no obvious physical move to fight back. This isn’t the first time Long has allegedly been involved in arguments with his teammates.
How the Chicago Bears fare so far
The Bears know that the 2019 season will be challenging. In addition to the usual pressures an NFL team feels at the start of the season, they also face the challenge of proving that winning the NFC North title wasn’t a fluke; they’re good enough to do it a second time.
Despite being the favored team against the Packers, the Bears lost 10-3, with the Bear’s defensive unit taking much of the blame. This weekend, the Bears played the Denver Broncos, a team with a matching 2019 record. Chicago won 16-14. The team needs to maintain the momentum they gained last year in order to prove that Nagy’s somewhat unorthodox approach is a smart one.