LAKE FOREST – Before he sat down to meet with the media on Tuesday, he had a little bit of “catch-up” work to do. It’s the kind that Jason Peters has been doing over the past month after getting a late start to training camp.
“Pool work. I just got out of the weight room now,” said the 39-year old offensive tackle on Tuesday just a few questions into his session when he was asked about work he does to build his body up after a late start to his training. “I do a lot of core work. I run in the pool in the morning. I get here early; probably about 35-40 minutes.
“Just to get the legs and stuff up under you without working your legs on the field so that way you’ve got your legs when you go on the field getting your cardio in.”
It’s all been a part of a quick acclimation to the Bears for Peters, who is playing in his 18th NFL season in 2021 after spending the last 12 as a franchise left tackle for the Eagles. He wasn’t re-signed after the 2020 season in which he played eight games and wasn’t with a team for offseason workouts.
In fact, Bears general manager Ryan Pace called Peters about a possible opportunity with the Bears while he was fishing, with the team not officially getting him signed until August 14th. At least he had a familiar offensive line coach in Juan Castillo helping him along, since the pair worked together in 2009 and 2010 with the Eagles.
“Just getting back to getting smooth,” said Peters of perfecting his technique on the fly so far in 2021. “Like you said, I didn’t have the training camp and OTAs to just get all the way smooth, so I’m doing it on the fly, like during live action. I’ve about got it.
“I know how to do it; it’s just doing it over, and over, and over for the whole game.”
Peters was able to do that for the entire game in Week 2 after getting knocked out of the opener with a quad injury. His return was critical since backup left tackle Larry Borom was placed on IR on Saturday before the win over the Bengals.
So did Peters need to play a full game to reassure himself that he could go the distance in a game after such a short build-up to the season?
“I knew I could do it, or I would have stayed home,” said PaterIt’s football shape, it’s a whole different ballgame. It’s running and doing gassers; got out on the field working against a bag versus a live guy. You’ve got one guy coming in for two, three plays, maybe five plays on a ten-play drive, then you’ve got another guy coming off the sidelines, full tilt, ready to roll.
“So I’m 6-7 plays in, now you’ve got a fresh ‘D-End.’ So it’s just that; you’ve got to keep grinding, stacking the plays over and over and over.”
Peters will have the opportunity to do that as the Bears look to him to hold down the left tackle spot for as long as he can this season.