After three months away from football, the Bears reported to Halas Hall last week to begin their conditioning. If they are anything like Joe Anderson, they returned to Chicago in really good shape. A second-year receiver out of Texas Southern, Anderson spent most of the 2012 season on the practice squad, playing on special teams for the season's final three games.
Anderson spent the offseason at home in Houston with his girlfriend and their 1-year-old son. He spoke with RedEye about his training.
Did you get any advice from veterans or coaches on how to treat your offseason?
It's really common sense. In order to be great, you gotta work. There ain't no secret recipe to find out what you have to do during the offseason. It's just work. Work hard and you get results. You get out what you put in, so I don't need nobody to tell me what to do as far as work-wise.
It's always good to get polished up and ask older guys for advice. They're older than me, so I'm never going to not take advice from those guys. But as far as work ethic, getting out and going to the gym, I don't need anybody to tell me to do that because my priorities are in order. I'm an adult, I'm a parent, I have a child I have to feed, so if I want something, I gotta go get it.
And that goes for anybody. Nobody should have to tell you to go do something like that. Especially when you're trying to be someone, and I'm trying to be someone.
You told me that you are up at 5:15 a.m., you train until 7, then you do it again around noon, and again around 9:30 at night. What does training consist of?
Working out. Trying to get stronger. Lifting weights. Upper body. Lower body. Running. I call it the "poor man weights" facility. We've got tires. Big diesel tires. We just be flipping tires, or chopping a little wood, and a lot of weightlifting. It's country training. Nothing major, but I feel that it goes a long way as far as you being unstoppable and unbreakable.
A lot of receivers don't have the strength that I have. A lot of DBs don't either. That's why I win a lot of battles. I lift 225 [pounds] 23 times. That gives me the ability to stand with other people. I'm not 6-4, 6-5 or all that like Brandon Marshall, but me having that strength, and having a 41-inch vertical and being able to jump, that goes a long way with the little height that I have [Anderson is 6 feet 1].
Through college, I would always lift with the O-linemen. I wouldn't lift with the receivers because I wanted to be stronger than everybody else. So in order to do that, you have to step it up and go do something that everybody else can't do.
So what are you most excited about for April?
I'm just excited to get back going to work and proving myself. You always have something to prove, man. That's the business. You try to prove yourself every day. When you come to a point where you think you don't have anything to prove, you pretty much shouldn't be playing anymore. That's when you should quit.
This is my second year. I'm just trying to have fun and play this game to the best of my ability. Trying to be the best. That's all. Actions speak louder than words, so let's get back to work. That's what I'm proving.
Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. Say hey @readjack.