Hird says the club has climbed into the elite level this pre-season, which wasn't the case in his previous two years in charge.
He's proud that they've achieved it despite uncertainty over what the fallout will be from the ongoing Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) investigation into last year's supplement use.
"From our point of view, as a coaching staff and from the club point of view, the quality of work and the level that you've got to is outstanding," Hird said in a speech to his players.
"We spoke at the start of pre-season about the first two years building to a certain level then taking it further.
"It's my belief that as a training group, you're now coming into an elite area, so you're to be congratulated on that.
"And in the current environment, the way you've held your training together and the way you've held your attitude together is quite remarkable."
"I'm very proud of the fact that this group today sits here knowing they can go to that level."
On Tuesday, captain Jobe Watson said the pre-season had been stressful at times but the Bombers were upbeat and excited about getting the chance to take the field on Friday night.
They will play in the AFL season-opener against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.
Hird's speech, given earlier this week, was to air on Essendon's show The Hangar on Fox Footy on Wednesday night.