With no NFL football to speak of, players continue to find ways to keep busy. For some members of the Bears, that includes talking to students about what it means to exercise and live a healthy life (for others it means running hills waiting for the lockout to end).
Linebacker Brian Urlacher was in Albuquerque, New Mexico earlier this month on behalf of the NFL's "Play 60" campaign, and cornerback Charles Tillman spoke to students and their families Wednesday at the Chicago Computer Systems Institute as part of National Physical Fitness and Sports month. The conversation included Tillman's efforts to stay in shape despite the current labor situation that has NFL owners and players in the midst of a staring contest over billions of dollars.
"I don’t care who you are, I think the only way to get in football shape is to do football things with the team," Tillman said, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I can run like I’m Forrest Gump from one coast to the next, but if I don’t do drills that pertain to football, I’m not going to be in football shape.
"The first day back, even guys who have been working out, it will be a little tough for them just because of the pace we go at. It’s so much faster."
Which speaks to the need to settle the lockout if there are concerns about the quality of football fans will be subjected to early in the season, and more importantly, increased injuries to players not yet in football shape.
Tillman said he was happy with the NFL Players Association's role but added that "I think it’s unfortunate the courts had to get involved, that we couldn’t come to an agreement with mediation. When it’s all said and done I think everything will be worked out. As players, we want fans to know we do want to play football. We don’t like being locked out. And I’m sure the owners want to get back to football as well."