Bears players attribute illegal contact during OTAs to hungry mentality

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The Chicago Bears were forced to forfeit Tuesday’s OTA practice after violating offseason rules involving contact during May practices, as laid out in the collective bargaining agreement.

Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune explained that the Bears were issued a warning for having practices with too much contact. When they failed to make adjustments, the NFL stepped in and decided they were in violation of league rules.

Head coach Matt Eberflus said there weren’t any fines to him or the organization — outside of the one forfeited practice — and that the team has learned how to practice full speed without contact.

Tight end Cole Kmet attributed the illegal contact during practice to the hungry mentality of the young players, including himself, looking to prove themselves to the new regime.

“You’ve got to look at our situation right now,” Kmet said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys, right? New coach, new everything. Guys are coming in to prove themselves, including me. I’m not going to ease up, first of all because I don’t want to get hurt. That’s how you get hurt; you’re not going 100 percent.

“And guys want to show what they’ve got. We don’t have as many vets as we’ve had in years past. We’re a younger team. It’s kind of just where we’re at right now. Guys are learning. I thought these last two practices we’ve had [Monday and Wednesday] have been night and day in terms of how to practice without pads on.”

Whitehair echoed the sentiment, explaining that intense practices are exactly what this young team needs.

“This team is young and we kind of need that intense practice and expectation from the group,” Whitehair said. “We do have a lot of young guys and the expectations are high, so you’ve got to expect an intense practice. I feel like the guys have really worked hard and have gotten a lot out of it.”

The Bears return to Halas Hall next week for a three-day mandatory minicamp beginning Tuesday before breaking for the summer.

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10 takeaways from Bears' final week of OTAs

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