Bears Making Most Of Unique Offseason Challenges

(670 The Score) As the world works to slow the coronavirus spread, leaders continue to urge non-essential employees to stay home.

That includes the NFL and for teams like the Bears, who will be confined to their homes for the NFL Draft. The league sent a memo to its 32 teams on Monday requiring the draft be conducted with general managers, executives, coaches and scouts all apart in their homes.

Meanwhile, coach Matt Nagy is formulating a plan to hold the Bears' offseason program virtually.

"We have to adapt and figure out solutions," he said.

The NFL Draft will be held April 23-25 without a centralized location for the league or teams. Pace credited the Bears' IT team for providing the needed interfaces and infrastructure to conduct business as needed.

Pace and his front office officials have been preparing for the draft remotely. The team has utilized tools like Zoom and Skype for pre-draft interviews rather than hosting prospects inside Halas Hall as typically done in normal times.

The Bears have held meetings virtually and shared video to scout through their computer system. 

"It’s actually been highly efficient and in some ways better," Pace said. 

The Bears were scheduled to start their offseason program on April 20, but all teams are prohibited from conducting work in their facilities for the time being. For coaches like Nagy, that means holding virtual meetings and providing players with at-home workouts. He is already an expert with iPhone FaceTime.

How the lack of on-field team work this offseason impacts the Bears' quarterback competition between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles remains to be seen, but that's an incredibly small matter given what our world is dealing with these days.

The NFL hopes it can start training camp work in July and start the season as scheduled, a top league official said last week. Until then, teams have to work around the challenges.

"As a coaching staff, guys have been very proactive at trying to get good at it (technology)," Nagy said. "But we have to adapt. We have to figure out solutions. We can’t complain. We have to make sure whatever we do from the top, whether it’s teaching purposes, it’s going to be different. You are not going to be standing there in front of 30 to 60 players and speaking your team message for the day."

The initial challenge that teams faced was the completion of physicals for players who had agreed to new deals in free agency, as they were forced to wait with doctors tending to more pressing issues. On Friday, the Bears finalized contracts for linebackers Barkevious Mingo and Isaiah Irving. It meant all of the signings and trades that the Bears have agreed to up to this point are officially complete.

As the coronavirus spread began to intensify in March, the Bears joined other NFL teams in taking necessary measures to protect their own employees. The Bears closed Halas Hall on March 16 in accordance with mandates from the state of Illinois and Center for Disease Control.

Illinois extended its stay-at-home mandate through the end of April. The Bears have embraced the unique challenges that come with these trying times.

"You are forced to quickly adapt to the changing landscape," Pace said.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.