Players are to arrive at Halas Hall on Monday for physicals and the other routines that go into beginning the offseason program, as Lovie Smith isn't wasting one hour in getting back to work after the Bears were shut out of the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

Smith has maintained all along the team is "close," which has spawned a series of questions that all basically ask "Close to what?"

With his revamped coaching staff, Smith will get a look beginning Tuesday, with the first of three minicamp practices. More than an opportunity to evaluate the roster with the draft six weeks off, it's a chance to set the tone for 2009.