Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC North [Print without images]

Friday, July 26, 2013
Lance Briggs ushers in new Bears era

By Kevin Seifert

The Chicago Bears' first training camp practice Friday was notable for many reasons, most notably the official start of the Marc Trestman Era. But I was particularly interested in this post from Jeff Dickerson at ESPNChicago.com, who reminds us that Lance Briggs -- and not middle linebacker D.J. Williams -- has taken over defensive playcalling after Brian Urlacher's retirement.

Briggs was calling the defense during spring drills as well, but the intensity naturally ramps up when training camp begins. He admitted to a few mistakes Friday but put the situation in pretty good perspective, I thought.

"I was real comfortable in my role before," Briggs said. "Very comfortable. Now I'm getting comfortable with being uncomfortable."

Typically teams prefer the middle linebacker to call defenses because of his pre-snap position and central proximity to teammates. But the Bears' uncertain lineup beyond Briggs makes him the best candidate for the job. At the very least, they know he'll be on the field. Williams and outside linebacker James Anderson must both fight off rookie challengers for their jobs.

"The biggest adjustment," Briggs said, "is making sure that it's my job to get everybody aligned and ready to play."