WR Stephen Hill not only doesn't play special teams, he also did not impress very much this summer. Couple those factors with Rex Ryan's lukewarm comments about Hill on Tuesday, and you have a second-round draft pick who isn't going to make it into this third season with the Jets.
The Jets famously took Hill two picks ahead of Alshon Jeffery. Now it looks like Hill may get cut.
Friday, August 22, 2014, 12:32pm
Bears coach Marc Trestman said Josh Morgan deserves first shot at the No. 3 job with Marquess Wilson on the shelf because of a fractured clavicle. So Morgan is set to receive all the repetitions at the No. 3 spot with the first-team offense. He’s been one of the team’s most productive targets this preseason, but the Bears signed Santonio Holmes on Saturday. Holmes expects to play sparingly. So he’ll certainly be a player to watch as Chicago continues to look for a competent complement to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. The Bears plan to make sure to put Holmes into situations he's comfortable with to help him succeed as he learns Chicago's offense.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 11:27pm
Bears WR Alshon Jeffery’s work ethic was considered a concern when he taken with the 45th overall pick in 2012. That’s a far-fetched worry now. He seems more confident with his blossoming stardom every time he talks.
‘‘He’s done it for one year,’’ coach Marc Trestman said. ‘‘He knows he’s got to prove himself, [that] he’s got to stack years and years together to be a great player, like Brandon has. He’s certainly confident he can do it. He knows he can compete at this level and compete at a high level.’’
Monday, August 18, 2014, 3:41pm
Bears WR Marquess Wilson — the smooth, speedy offseason standout who had been in line for the Bears' No. 3 receiver job — is likely to be sidelined until at least midseason, a person with knowledge of the injury told USA TODAY Sports on Monday.
Wilson, 21, broke his collarbone in three places when he was injured in practice two weeks ago, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because injury details were to remain private. He had surgery Aug. 5 and the initial timeline for recovery was set at 12 to 14 weeks.
That could make Wilson a candidate for short-term injured reserve if the Bears believe he can return to help them in the second half of the season. They also could save that designation for another player and put Wilson on season-ending IR, or they could carry Wilson on the 53-man roster in hopes his recovery is faster than expected, though that would take away a spot from a healthy player.
The injury has created an opportunity for free agent Santonio Holmes, who signed a one-year contract with the Bears on Saturday after four often-disappointing seasons with the New York Jets. Holmes will have limited fantasy value behind WRs Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, but could prove worthy in deeper leagues.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:39am
Former Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes has agreed to terms with the Bears, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Bears visit the Jets in Week 3 – a Monday night game on Sept. 22. Both teams will be interested to see how much Holmes has left.
Holmes does not figure to be a major contributor initially for the Bears. Their top receivers are Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, whom the Jets passed on in the 2012 draft, to select Stephen Hill. (To this point, Jeffery has been far more productive than Hill).
The Bears' second-string receivers are Marquess Wilson and Eric Weems, with Josh Bellamy and Josh Morgan occupying the third line on the depth chart. Wilson, the leading candidate to be the team's No. 3 receiver, sustained a broken collarbone earlier this month in a training camp practice. It remains unclear how long Wilson will be out, but the Bears don't expect to begin the season with him.
Monday, August 4, 2014, 11:12am
The second-year pro has made plays throughout training camp, most recently leaping to catch passes down the left sideline over Kelvin Hayden Friday and Charles Tillman Saturday.
“Right now [Wilson] is on track to be the third [receiver],” said coach Marc Trestman. “But we’re still working with the other guys to make sure that we get it right, and everybody’s getting reps to have the opportunity to be that guy.”
It will be hard for Wilson to make a fantasy impact with Marshall and Jeffery also at the position, as well as RB Matt Forte and TE Martellus Bennett also in the mix for catches.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 8:18am
Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss was asked to compare WR Aaron Dobson to other NFL receivers: "...two players who come to mind a little bit from an athletic and outside-receiver perspective are San Diego's Malcom Floyd and Chicago's Alshon Jeffery. There's a gap there between the two -- Jeffery is the better player -- and that's the range in which I peg Dobson's potential."
As a rookie, Dobson caught a respectable 37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns, but he flashed some big play ability in his 5-130-2 outing against the Steelers in early November. His FP/T (1.05) was average, but if he can beat out Brandon LaFell and Kenbrell Thompkins for a starting job, he should produce with Tom Brady throwing the ball. He only played 63% of the snaps as a rookie.
As Buccaneers QB Josh McCown said, WR Mike Evans has to learn the playbook before he’ll be truly effective. And he’s been bothered by a hamstring injury, which has limited his time in OTAs. But watch him go up and effortlessly pluck the ball with a one-handed grab in OTAs and the comparisons to Alshon Jeffery become even more apparent.
“Oh yeah, he’s missed a lot [of offseason work], there’s no other way to sugarcoat it,” HC Lovie Smith recently said. “We wanted Mike taking every rep — as a rookie you need to take every rep. Around the league, it happens, especially with a lot of new guys that those last couple of weeks they’re doing a lot of traveling, don’t work out exactly how they should, but we saw enough and we know who Mike is. He’s going to help us win a lot of games, [and] he’s gotten better. We need him, we can’t let him re-injure that hamstring, so we’ll be cautious with him.”
The article does a nice job of breaking down how the Bears use Jeffery, and how the Bucs might use Evans. As a rookie, Jeffery struggled to a 24-367-3 season in 10 games, missing time due to a broken hand and an injured knee. Jeffery is now a top 10 wideout after an excellent second season, but the struggles in his first year are a reminder that rookie wideouts rarely live up to expectations.
In his first full year as a professional, Marquess Wilson gained weight, experience and knowledge.
The 6-3 receiver reported to the Bears’ organized team activities — which resume Wednesday at Halas Hall — last month at 207 pounds, having added bulk and explosiveness after participating in fellow receiver Brandon Marshall’s offseason workouts in Florida.
‘‘It’s better [than] last year because last year I was thinking a lot on the field,’’ Wilson said. ‘‘This year I can just play. I feel freer on the field. It just feels good.’’
‘‘If I know my role and if I know the plays, I shouldn’t feel pressure on myself,’’ said Wilson, a seventh-round draft pick in 2013. ‘‘I can’t play with pressure. I’ve got to play with confidence.’’
Wilson is the rare WR handcuff because he's likely to post fantasy starter numbers if either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery miss time with injury.
Bears beat writer Michael C. Wright was asked about the team's WR3: "I think Marquess Wilson is that extra receiver you’re thinking about. He’s a rising second-year player, coming off an offseason in which he trained out in Florida with Brandon Marshall. And you saw what training with Marshall did for Alshon Jeffery. The plan right now is to give Wilson first dibs at that No. 3 receiver job, and I think the staff is pretty confident he’ll wind up winning it. Wilson was a highly-productive player in college, and was able to step in as a rookie last season and contribute. I think Jay Cutler is pretty comfortable with Wilson, too."
The Bears' WR3 last year (Earl Bennett) wasn't a featured player in the offense, so we're not expecting Wilson to be one of the more productive WR3s in the league unless something happens to Marshall or Jeffery. The team has a lot of mouths to feed in the passing game with Martellus Bennett at tight end and Matt Forte at running back.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:33am
Wilson is expected to win the WR3 job, which means fantasy owners should have him on speed dial if either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery go down with an injury.
it definitely appears Marquess Wilson will receive first stab at winning the job as this team's No. 3 receiver. He worked as the No.3 receiver with the first team on offense.
Wilson is a tall (6'3") second year receiver who may be fantasy relevant, especially if either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery miss time due to injury in 2014. The Bears pass it enough to support three fantasy receivers, but we're counting Martellus Bennett in that group. Wilson will hold flier value if he earns the WR3 job.
This should mean that Marshall is signed through 2017, his age-33 season. He and Alshon Jeffery will continue to make a formidable duo.
Marc Trestman said the Chicago Bears are not "anointing" Marquess Wilson as the No. 3 receiver in the offense, but the coach hopes the second-year player can develop like Alshon Jeffery did a year ago.
Wilson apparently will get the first shot at replacing Earl Bennett, who was released Tuesday after declining to take a pay cut. It creates a sizeable void in the offense. Bennett was only fifth on the team in receptions with 32, but he was on the field for 51.2 percent of the snaps.
That means the Bears must replace Bennett’s playing time with a new wide receiver or make a subtle shift in the offense and not rely on three-receiver sets as often. Wilson, a seventh-round pick last year from Washington State, has a wide-open opportunity.
“I think he showed that we can work with him and develop him,” Trestman said Sunday at the NFL owners’ meeting. “He’s got the football intelligence that we’re looking for and the ability to be flexible within the offense. He was consistent. So we’ll see how it goes. We’re not anointing people at this point in time. He’s going to have a chance to compete and be a part of what we do after Alshon and Brandon (Marshall). We’ll see how it goes. We’ve got a long way to go but we like (Wilson) and we’re excited about him to develop him and work him.”
Bennett wasn't much of a fantasy factor, and there probably aren't enough targets to go around to make Wilson fantasy-relevant (top 60) in 2014, though he looks like a good prospect in dynasty formats. He'll be a good handcuff for either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery in deeper leagues.
No numbers have been released yet, but they are bound to be big given how quickly this deal went down. Cutler averaged 16.9 fantasy points per game in the 10 games where he attempted at least 10 passes. That average tied Ben Roethlisberger for 16th among QBs. Under Marc Trestman, the Bears threw early and often, and the offense has a bright future given the weapons (Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett) at Cutler's disposal.
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