In a normal NFL offseason, the Bears would be having OTAs at Halas Hall as they geared up toward veteran mini-camps, training camp, preseason, and ultimately, regular-season games. And despite the league’s best attempts to run things business as usual, we know better and realize things aren’t business as usual. But that’s not going to keep the league and its teams from trying.
While trying to keep things on a normal timeline, the Chicago Bears are having media availability with several key players this week. First up, Allen Robinson, the team’s leading receiver and recipient of the Ed Block Courage award.
You can check out Robinson’s full interview with reporters here and embedded below. In the meantime, I’ve pulled some highlights from online tweets and added some commentary. Enjoy!
The A-Rob Workout Plan
Players wanting to participate in offseason workouts have been met with a hurdle: team facilities closing down in March in an attempt to flatten the curve of COVID-19. We’re now in June and team facilities have not re-opened. But that doesn’t mean players haven’t sought other outlets to put in the work, even together.
Indeed, Robinson has been working out with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky:
Bears WR Allen Robinson: "I’ve been able to get on the field with Mitch quite a bit.” Said they’re working out about 4 times a week.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) June 3, 2020
Trubisky has been leading workouts with teammates this offseason, which might give him a leg-up in the quarterback competition he’ll face when he goes up against Nick Foles this summer.
As for Robinson’s take on the competition, he says he is looking forward to camp and feels confident regardless who is behind center when games roll around. “It’s going to be a fun training camp,” Robinson said.
What About the Contract Extension?
A rallying cry from Bears fans throughout the offseason has been to extend Robinson’s contract. There has been no rush to get it done (but also … let’s get it done already) from either side. And it’s evident that both sides would like to come to an agreement. Back in February, GM Ryan Pace confirmed the team had internal discussions regarding the extension. And in April, Robinson re-iterated his desire to get a deal done and added that he wants to retire as a member of the Bears.
The latest from Robinson:
“For me, again, at this point in time, I’m not too concerned with that. If something gets done, something gets done. But at the end of the day, that’s left up to the Bears and my agent.”
Robinson’s stance in June is the same as it has been all along. It’s also the same stance Robinson took when he entered free agency before ultimately signing with the Bears. My gut tells me a deal will get done eventually between the two sides. It’s just there are some bumps in the road to get past before it gets to that point.
No Player Safety Concerns Amid Potential Return After COVID-19
There is going to be a looming sense of unease when players return to team facilities at some point this summer. Let’s face it. The new normal isn’t going to be anything anyone is used to being a part of when things open up. But Robinson has enough faith that the right moves will be made to allow players back into Halas Hall.
“Me, personally, I’m not too concerned. If we’re going to be put back into facilities, measures will be taken. I think a plan will be had. Enough research will be done to put everybody in the best situation. … If I’m back in a locker room, back playing, my level of concern will be pretty low.”
With the league taking recent precautions throughout the offseason, it’s easy to imagine there will be a high bar to clear for players to re-enter their respective team’s buildings when the time is right.
On Taking a Knee and Encouraging Conversations
I believe we’re going to hear a lot from NFL players in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the protests against police brutality that have since followed. And we’ll hear from some Bears in due time. With Robinson behind the mic today, here’s what he had to say:
Allen Robinson was asked if he thinks the NFL establishment would be more tolerant of players taking a knee this season:
"I do think they would be tolerant of it. Do I think that is the next step? I’m not sure if that’s the next step but I think that’s probably in the talks."
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) June 3, 2020
Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson started talking about how conversations have been with his white teammates and offered an important message. Take the time to read what he says here. pic.twitter.com/cevuvGQsqW
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) June 3, 2020
For more from Robinson, his entire media session has been embedded below: