Bears talk up energy, (cherry) juice after overnight flight to London 


LONDON — So, does actually being in England change the Bears’ generally-dismissive attitude about being overseas to play the Oakland Raiders on Sunday? Maybe guys on this team will take advantage of having six or so hours of free time on Saturday in a world-renowned city?

“I’ll come back and do that vacation stuff later,” outside linebacker Khalil Mack said. 

Nevermind, then. 

Most players who spoke to the media on Friday said they got a decent amount of sleep on the seven-hour flight from Chicago to London Thursday night. There were a select few “sleeping pods” on the plane the team chartered, one of which went to backup-turned-starting quarterback Chase Daniel 

(Daniel also mentioned what helped him sleep: Cherry juice. Tart cherries are high in melatonin, according to a quick Google search.) 

But even for the lucky players who got those pods, this trip is still a routine-breaking inconvenience, no matter how cool it may be to be here in London. 

And yet, everyone at Allianz Park — the home of Saracens Rugby Club (presumably not named after the "Friday Night Lights" character) and where the Bears practiced Friday — said the energy after that long flight was high. 

“Lots of juice, lots of energy,” coach Matt Nagy said. “It could easily go the other way where you feel sorry for yourself. It’s a long trip. It’s overnight, We didn’t really get to sleep in our beds. We crammed in a plane. And then you wait all day. So it does not surprise me at all. You want that so it helps you play better on Sunday night.”

Kyle Long pointed to the Bears’ culture as being important in generating that energy on Friday, even if players were physically and/or mentally tired. Nagy began practice with a dance-off, but after that, it was a normal Friday practice — right down to the music choices playing over the loudspeakers thousands of miles from Halas Hall. 

“It was one of our better Friday practices,” Daniel said. 

The positive, energetic vibe around the Bears Friday might mean something for Sunday. It might not. But it does beat the alternative, with that being a sluggish, lethargic practice with players feeling like their routines were messed up behind repair. 

Also, not every Bears player dismissed the idea of doing a little sightseeing with their allotted free time on Saturday. Daniel’s wife joined him in London, and he said they’d go check out some of the city’s top landmarks. 

He also might get recognized as not only being a Bears player, but being the starting quarterback of one of the two teams playing Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

“I like London, personally, in general,” Daniel said. “I really enjoy it. I've read some of the articles about guys not enjoying it, it’s just a business trip. Yeah it's a business trip but I'm going to enjoy myself, just like everyone else is.”

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