WASHINGTON, Ill. -- It was one road trip the Bears were looking forward to.
Wednesday's visit to Washington High School was designed to help inspire a community preparing to rebuild.
But that inspiration cut two ways.
"The kids get a chance to spend time with the guys that they watch on TV," says Bears defensive lineman Landon Cohen, "and for us its just this feeling of love and gratitude that we have to come back and give to this community."
"You're in it to help everybody out," said Bears placekicker Robbie Gould, "to know that if you stick together and rebuild you'll definitely prevail."
The Bears didn't come to Washington to score points. In fact, for one of them helping out after a disaster isn't anything new.
'm from Houston and after Katrina we had the same situation," said Bears defensive lineman Cheta Ozougwu. "A lot of people from New Orleans came to Houston. We were able to bring a lot of evacuees to my high school and just encourage them and be with them and invite them in because its tough when you lose your home."
But for a few hours Washington students didn't have to think about that. Instead, members of the school's football team learned they're just like the pros.
"I think (learning about their) pregame rituals was really cool," said Washington linebacker Mason Chockley. "Even up in the NFL they still do the same stuff (before games) because in our locker room the exact same things happen."
But what happens now is what's most important.
"The more people keep us in their thoughts and prayers, and even financially, the better that's going to be for our town in the long run," said Washington football coach Darrell Crouch. "We've still got a long way to go."