Power outage moves Bears practice

Updated: August 11, 2011, 12:31 AM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Strange occurrences continued to disrupt the Chicago Bears' training camp sessions on Wednesday, when a power outage at Olivet Nazarene University and the surrounding areas caused the lights to turn off.

"Hey, every once in a while things like this happen," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "But as a team, this was a night we needed to get in. We missed a day of course a few days ago, but players came over, got a chance to work on FieldTurf. [It was] a good, lively practice. We got better tonight and that's what we wanted to do.

Just minutes into some of the team sessions, the stadium lighting around the practice fields shut off, making it too dark for the team to continue the session. As electrical workers nearby scrambled to fix the problem, the players and Bears staffers stood around waiting for nearly 30 minutes, before moving the workout to a local high school.

"It's been a weird series of events here," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "Nothing we can really do about it. Just have to work through it and try and get our work in."

Team officials asked that the school's location not be publicized because the new locale didn't contain the infrastructure or staff to handle fans spilling over from ONU.

The Bears haven't worked through a full practice session since Sunday. Lightning and torrential rain forced the team off the field on Monday, and the players were given the day off on Tuesday.

Last week, the team was forced to cancel its practice during Family Fest at Soldier Field because of safety issues with the playing surface. The team moved that workout to ONU, and didn't finish the practice until nearly 11 p.m.

"It's not all bad in training camp [for these things to happen]," Smith said. "You want to put the guys in different situations. I mean, we're going to London [to play Tampa in regular season], we'll have to get out of the routine eventually. We have a normal-size field over here [at the high school] and got in the same work we would have got in over there."

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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