With road contests scheduled for the likes of New England, San Francisco and the always tough Lambeau Field in Green Bay, the Chicago Bears are enacting a little “noise drill” into their training camp sessions in Bourbonnais, Illinois this year to prepare for life on the road in 2014.
Midway through Friday’s practice at Olivet Nazarene University, the Bears aired a recording of a noisy football crowd on the speakers, one generated loud enough to be able to disrupt an NFL offense. After two downs played under the noise, some fans took note and began cheering themselves, but tight end Martellus Bennett wanted it louder.
“We need you to be real loud now,” he yelled to the nearby crowd, which immediately obliged with a collective sustained roar.
“I like to try and get the energy going,” Bennett said after practice. “We rely on the crowd like they rely on us. We feed off their energy. Any fan that comes to practice, we encourage them to be loud. Especially on days like this where it is real hot. That helps so it’s not like the same old, same old every day."
“The energy they bring gives us energy as an offense,” he added, stressing that the crowd noise helps the offense focus in addition to serving as an obstacle during the play call.
Demontre Hurst, a second-year cornerback out of Oklahoma, said as a defense, “it’s always good to have the fans on our side.”
“The loud noise makes the offense think and concentrate and makes us think more too,” he said. “We know it’s a bigger challenge for the offense, but we accept it too.”
After Bennett’s plea resulted in a thundering reaction from the crowd, the now playing second-team offense committed a false start penalty, which was followed by one fan yelling back at Bennett, “See! We got ‘em!”
Bennett gave him a thumbs up and got back to work.