Around the NFL
Bears hope Jeffrey isn't like Mike
Posted Apr. 29 at 06:10 AM
For several years the Bears have lacked a true go-to wideout. Now, after trading for Brandon Marshall and drafting Alshon Jeffery, they believe they have two of them. It remains to be seen, though, if their moves pay off.
Marshall has the well-documented off-field history that always threatens to derail his on-field production. Jeffery, the team's second-rounder who's also a big, physical receiver, enters the league with some questions of his own, mostly due to his weight and disappointing 2011 season. When the receiver you're most often compared to is Lions' bust Mike Williams, you know the spotlight is going to be on you early in your career.
"Mike Williams isn't as athletic as Alshon," insists Bears GM Phil Emery. "Mike is more of an inside receiver. A lot of people thought he would be a tight end. This guy is an outside receiver. He's a very dynamic vertical receiver because he is such a big, physical target."
Either way, it's clear the team expects to go with a tandem of Marshall and Jeffery fairly quickly. Johnny Knox's season is in doubt after suffering a major back injury late last season, and Devin Hester has been miscast as a starter the last few years. Earl Bennett has been most effective in the slot.
The good news for the Bears is that there are some issues in the secondary for all the teams in their division. All three struggled against the pass last year, and none added an elite defensive back prospect in the draft.
Chicago just needs to hope the comparisons to Mike Williams are indeed invalid, and that Jeffrey is out to prove the doubters wrong.
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