Jeff Tedford doesn't exactly have a reputation for being relaxed and carefree, but it's become something of a mission for the ninth-year head coach to lighten up in practice this season. And, two days into fall camp, it already seems to be working. "I think at times (the team was) tightening up," quarterback Kevin Riley. "If they messed up, they were going to get yelled at, get chewed out, and they'd be down the rest of practice. "Now if you mess up, it's like, 'Hey, don't do that. Learn from it. Go on to the next play and learn from it later.'" According to Riley, when the Bears fell behind in games last season, they tended to force plays and press too hard. This time around, they're working on a team culture of hard work tempered with a larger-than-years-past dose of fun.
"We've got a great group of kids who have worked hard all summer, all spring, and you don't want to push them to where they're not having fun playing football," he said. "(The coaches) learned that from previous experience just by looking at people's faces."