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Bears' Alshon Jeffery Working Hard In Personalized Program

By Chris Emma--

(CBS) The Bears are hard at work in Lake Forest, while Alshon Jeffery continues his own rigorous training regimen in Miami.

The Bears' top receiver, Jeffery opted to skip the Bears' voluntary OTAs at Halas Hall and stay behind in Miami with his personal trainer, the renowned David Alexander of DBC Fitness.

By all means, Jeffery isn't off in his own world this offseason. Alexander is the personal trainer for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and many more, and he has helped design a personalized workout for Jeffery.

"Guys like Alshon, as a trainer, they're the type of athlete you want," said Alexander, now in his second offseason with Jeffery. "He's a true professional."

Back in late February, the Bears tendered the franchise tag to Jeffery, which pays him more than $14 million for 2016 and offers the chance to prove he can be an elite NFL receiver. Jeffery and the Bears are still actively negotiating on a long-term deal but have a deadline of July 15 to work out a deal.

Jeffery's decision to skip the Bears' OTAs isn't in any way a message of contract dispute, his agent, Tory Dandy of Relativity Sports, said Tuesday through text. Jeffery will be back with the Bears when workouts become mandatory at training camp.

"Alshon is getting in great shape, and he will certainly be with his team for mandatory activities," Dandy said. "There is no contract dispute. Alshon is under contract. He signed the tag, so, no dispute."

The talents of Jeffery are undeniable, but in a contract season in 2015, he missed seven games with injuries to four different soft-tissue muscles.

Jeffery vowed to have "a hell of an offseason" to ensure that wouldn't happen again. For a second straight offseason, he called upon Alexander for guidance.

"We've really been addressing that -- getting his body aligned properly," Alexander said. "But with Alshon, he's just a guy that works really hard."

The Bears have openly said they "prefer" for Jeffery to be with his teammates at Halas Hall, though he prefers the opportunity to continue with Alexander and a regimen specific to his needs.

How does a 26-year-old athlete in the prime of his career endure four different soft-tissue injuries?

"When they get back to camp, there's workouts that they have to do," Alexander explained. "Unfortunately, a lot of the workouts that pro teams develop for their players isn't in line with what they players need.

"It didn't allow his body to perform at the highest level. What separates our facility here is you won't see athletes working together. Each athlete has their individualized program."

While Bears coach John Fox, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and general manager Ryan Pace have each expressed their desire for Jeffery to be present in Lake Forest, no one from the Bears has requested a specific workout regimen from Alexander.

Alexander, 40, aims to teach athletes as to how their body functions and the ways in which injuries can be prevented. Part of his instruction with Jeffery is aimed toward prevention of soft-tissue injuries in 2016, a season that the two are hoping brings Pro Bowl status.

Goals have been set between Jeffery and Alexander. To get there, Jeffery must understand the details of how to take care of his body -- from stretching before practice to treatment afterward -- and what is needed to play at the highest level.

"As of right now, I feel 100 percent confident he's going to be 100 percent when the season starts," Alexander said. "Alshon is a smart guy, and he understands what he has to do. He's doing movement patterns we taught him. I'm really confident in him."

Through the duration of their second year of offseason workouts, Alexander hasn't sensed one bit that Jeffery is distraught over his contract situation. He sees the same guy and work ethic each day.

Jeffery arrives at DBC Fitness each day ready to bring his best and earn what's ahead in 2016.

"Alshon will be the standard," Alexander said. "When a lot of guys are in college watching film on NFL guys, they're going to base their work ethic around him."

Chris Emma covers the Chicago sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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