Almost never do players call training camp easy, but a couple of players have already made it through worse adversity.
For Jared Atkinson and Micheal Johnson, every time they step on a football field it's a chance to honor those who continue to push them to be the best they can be.
Atkinson took a semester off after his mother fell ill.
He said he had no doubt he'd be back. But now that he is, and his mother is doing better, he calls it a blessing.
"She's the strongest alive that I know for a fact. She's great, she's amazing, and I'm just happy for her that she's keeping a positive attitude about everything, and that's just motivation for me, it keeps me going," Jared Atkinson, Bears junior wide receiver, said. "I'm glad to be actually be a part of the team again. It's not like I actually left, but it's just to be back ... it's a blessing to be back around all the guys."
And for Johnson, Friday wasn't just the first day of fall camp, but what would have been the 20th birthday of his high school friend who died from a neck injury in a football game last year.
"I gave 100 percent, and that still wasn't enough for him because he was just an energizer bunny. But, I just feel like he was just pushing me. Like everyday I feel like he's pushing me behind me," Micheal Johnson, Bears junior defensive tackle, said. "I feel like the adversity brings us together closer, and so I feel like this is going to be a good year, a great year just because we all have something that's pushing us behind us and is bringing us closer."
Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.