- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Since being named head coach of the Chicago Bears on Jan. 16, Marc Trestman has made a concerted effort to connect with the organization’s alumni base of players and coaches.
Trestman has mailed out two separate letters to ex-Bears players in the last several months, formally inviting them to observe a practice at Halas Hall.
Hall of Famer Mike Ditka famously addressed Trestman’s team this past summer after a preseason practice, and on Friday, several former Bears were present inside the Walter Payton Center to take in the end-of-the-week workout.
Members of the group included: Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent, quarterback Mike Tomczak, tight end James Thornton, cornerback Donnell Woolford, wide receiver Rashied Davis, offensive tackle James “Big Cat” Williams, wide receiver Anthony Morgan and running back Ronnie Bull.
“It’s awesome [to have the alumni here],” Trestman said. “As I told the players before we broke, the guys that are here laid the foundation for what we have now, and they built the culture of what we have now, and they’re part of the Bear tradition. The more we get to know them and to have them around, and it’s great to see them, the more we’ll get a sense for what this is all about. We’ll learn something from each and every one of them. I thought it was a good start, and it has been to have some guys come around and meet our players and reconnect.
“They’re really a part of a family. Just because they’re done playing doesn’t mean they’re not still part of the family, and they certainly are.”