Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/7/12
BRANDON MARSHALL

2011 Statistics

Games Played: 16
Receptions: 81
Receiving Yards: 1,241
Average: 15
Touchdowns: 6

Bears fans have been craving for a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver for years and finally got one with Marshall.

Marshall will be reunited with quarterback Jay Cutler with hopes of putting up big offensive numbers in 2012.

Playing in Miami the past two seasons with a revolving door at quarterback, Marshall still managed to catch over 80 passes both years. In his previous three seasons with Denver, he caught over 100 passes in each season.

There is no doubt that having Marshall in the huddle will make life much easier for Cutler. Marshall is a big receiver who can go up and get the ball. Cutler has been clamoring for someone like that since he arrived in Chicago and who better than his old buddy from Denver, Brandon Marshall.


ALSHON JEFFREY
 
Rookie

Jeffrey comes to Chicago with some questions and concerns. He had a spectacular 2010 season while at South Carolina but with weight problems and quarterback inconsistency in 2011 he did not live up to expectations.

Still, the Bears thought highly enough of Jeffrey to trade up in the second round of the draft to select him.

He is one of those guys who, when right, can be a big part of an offense. In addition to Marshall, Jeffrey provides Cutler with another tall receiver who can create matchup problems for defenses.

Besides being tall, Jeffrey is a solid route runner with very good hands and does a great job of locating the ball and coming down with it on deep throws.

He is one of those guys quarterbacks love because when in trouble they can throw it up and have total confidence that he is going to come down with it. If he can keep his weight down and his work ethic up he should be a Pro Bowl level-player for the Bears.


EARL BENNETT

2011 Statistics

Games Played: 11
Receptions: 24
Receiving Yards: 381
Average: 15.9
Touchdowns: 1

After missing five games with injury in 2011, Bennett came back and provided a spark for the Bears offense in a Monday night win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Bennett can be a great slot receiver and showed flashes of that last season.

Bennett does a great job of getting open underneath the coverage and converting first downs. He can also stretch the field and is a player Cutler trusts. There is nothing more important to a healthy quarterback/receiver relationship than trust.

He has above average speed for a slot receiver and can move outside if needed. In an offense with Marshall and Jeffrey, the best use of his talents will come from the slot.


DEVIN HESTER

2011 Statistics:

Games Played: 16
Receptions: 26
Yards: 369
Average: 14.2
Touchdowns: 0

The Bears tried for three years to make Hester into their No. 1 wide receiver and it just did not work out. It had more to do with Hester having never played wide receiver before entering the NFL in 2006 than it did with his talent and ability.

Hester, as we all know, is the best return man in NFL history. The Bears tried to take that explosiveness and game-changing ability and put him on offense. In theory, it was the right idea. The problem was that he never fully committed to it because of his special teams duties.

With three receivers above him, Hester can focus fully on special teams and the Bears can come up with special packages specifically designed to take advantage of Hester’s unique abilities.


ERIC WEEMS

2011 Statistics

Games Played: 16
Receptions: 11
Receiving Yards: 90
Average: 8.2
Touchdowns: 0

Weems was signed to play primarily on special teams. He will be the Bears’ fifth wide receiver and probably will only play if there is an injury to one of the receivers ahead of him. He will likely play the same role as Sam Hurd played in 2011 before being arrested on federal drug charges.

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