[Chicago] is where wide receivers go to die. – Mushin Muhammad, 2008
For years, nay, DECADES, Bears fans have been forced to sit back and watch some of the most putrid output at the team’s wide receiver position. Marcus Robinson and Marty Booker gave us a couple seasons of brilliance, before immediately crashing back down to earth. Bernard Berrian and Mark Bradley were drafted with the expectation that they would eventually grow into highly productive players. Both ended up flaming out prematurely. Muhsin Muhammad and more recently, Roy Williams, were signed as veterans who would turn the beleaguered unit into a more credible offensive threat. To call their respective times in Bears’ uniforms a disappointment would be disrespectful to the word disappointment.
However, in one offseason, new Bears GM Phil Emery may have completely turned around the fortunes of this long neglected position.To hear the Chicago SunTimes‘ Joe Cowley and Bears players tell it, this is the most talent the team has ever rolled out at the wide receiver position.
Through the first two days of practice in pads, the Bears’ receiving corps has looked dominant. Yes, Bears receivers and dominant in the same sentence.
Ask the receivers how good they can be, and they respond with standard answers. But ask the guys who have to line up one-on-one against them on a daily basis, and that’s when the heads starts shaking and the excitement about what this offense can be really comes through.
From Bears cornerback Kelvin Hayden:
“In this league, you’re going to come up against defenses that have a physical secondary, some that have a speed secondary. But you have big guys like Marshall, Devin Thomas, Alshon, guys that look like a basketball team. Then you got guys like Devin Hester, Earl Bennett and Eric Weems who can do some things in the slot, do some things out wide to keep defensive backs on their toes, so it’s going to be hard for a secondary, or even a whole defense, to prepare for these guys.’’
For reasons unknown to the public, the Bears spent years doing the least amount of work possible to cure the misfortunes we’ve endured at the wide receiver position. Overrated prospects were drafted. Washed up veterans were signed for roles they were no longer physically capable of filling. Phil Emery deserves an A for effort for the work he’s done in renovating this unit. Bears’ opponents now have something to fear when it comes to Chicago’s passing attack.