Bears Head Into Hibernation

The offseason begins now for the Bears.

They will have a meeting Monday at Halas Hall and players will be given end-of-season physical exams, then released until the start of the offseason program, probably in late April.

The first day teams with returning head coaches are allowed to start offseason programs is April 16.

The first order of business for coach Lovie Smith and the front office will be making decisions on his assistants. The contracts of offensive coordinator Mike Martz and special teams coordinator Dave Toub are expiring, and Smith could elect to replace Martz. If he replaces him with offensive line coach Mike Tice, Smith will have to find another offensive line coach.

General manager Jerry Angelo and his scouting staff will be preparing to upgrade the roster. Evaluations for the April 26-28 draft kick into high gear the week of Jan. 22 in Mobile, Ala., at the Senior Bowl. Then comes the scouting combine in Indianapolis, which begins Feb. 22.



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