Coming into the 2013 season, Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was the talk of high expectations as a sophomore. With a new offense implemented by an offensive, quarterback-minded coach like Marc Trestman, Jeffery figured to have a big part in the playbook.
Jay Cutler has gotten off to a fairly decent start outside of his most recent game against the Detroit Lions, but that game was exactly what Jeffery may have needed to jumpstart a breakout year. Jeffery hauled in five catches for a career-high 107 yards and a touchdown that featured excellent concentration by the wideout amidst tight coverage.
Jeffery also gained 27 yards on an end-around play, showing a burst of speed and athleticism many had not seen up to this point out of him. The Bears have ran that end-around more often this year, especially with Jeffery, and every time he has gained yardage.
Cutler has already targeted Jeffery 32 times in four games and he is projected to be on pace for 128 targets at the end of the year, with over 70 catches and 800 yards receiving.
Let’s just say, if the Bears can get that kind of production out of their number two receiver, they are set offensively. With Brandon Marshall all but guaranteed a 100-catch, 1,000 yard season every year, having a weapon like Jeffery could pose problems down the road once the Bears continue to mesh with their new playbook and system.
Having been somewhat of a disappointment in his rookie year, Jeffery is already making fans forget about 2012 with his production thus far. If he only gets better from here on out, Bears fans should be thrilled with the possibilities later on this year and in his career.
Jeffery has become a real threat, and that’s saying something for a Chicago offense that has historically lacked weapons in the passing game. With Marshall by his side, Jeffery can’t help but improve — and hopefully that proves true for the Bears as well.