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NFL: Post-vacation blues for Bears

Published: Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 11:27 p.m. CDT

Remember when you'd leave school for spring break for a week, only to have it end knowing you’d have to go back to class for a couple more months?

That was Monday at Halas Hall.

And just like that first day back at school, Monday was the time to catch up on what and how everybody did during their short vacations.

Almost every day the next few weeks will have some focus on Jay Cutler, and how quickly he might get back on the field.

“I am encouraged by his sense for how he is improving," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "That is a positive sign. I think we have to stay within the framework that the doctors gave us, and we’ll see where he is next week.”

The Bears seem to have a better sense of where Cutler is than cornerback Charles Tillman.

“He worked out here in individual,” Trestman said. “He didn’t practice today. He says he feels better. So, that is the only answer I can give you right now. I am not trying to keep anything from you.”

For Trestman and his staff, the main order of business as they worked, while the players rested, was a ton of self-scouting and trying to figure out where and how they can get better with the players they will have.

“We know we’ve got to control the football and time of possession," Trestman said. "We’ve got to make sure, when we flip the field, that we make it a long field.”

Without their four longest runs, which have totaled 205 yards, Bears running backs (Matt Forte and Michael Bush) have averaged only 2.7 yards on 136 carries.

Things are even worse for the Bears.

Although the Bears did sign veteran linebacker Larry Grant, the coaches know there aren’t many reinforcements waiting in the wings.

“I would say we are going with the guys we have at the present time and that would be obviously Major [Wright] and Chris [Conte],” Trestman said.

The other big question that needs to be answered on defense is whether it will be Jon Bostic or James Anderson stepping into the Lance Briggs’ leadership role.

There is little question that a bye is always a good thing in the NFL, not just to refocus but also to heal up all the bumps and bruises.

But more than that, now is the time to take a look around and see what the team is made of.

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