It got wild awfully quickly during Tuesday afternoon's SportsNation chat, mostly because I didn't catch the sarcasm of an initial question until things had ballooned out of control. I was on vacation last week when Chicago Bears receiver Earl Bennett told SiriusXM NFL radio that he ranked Bears quarterback Jay Cutler ahead of the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers, and so I was a little flatfooted when "Earl Bennett" submitted a seemingly juicy question to the chat.
Here's how it went:
Earl Bennett (Planet No Where)
The Bears really do have the best receivers in the NFC North right? The Packers can't even compete! What planet am I on?
Kevin Seifert (1:24 PM)
I'll say this: The Bears' receivers can be discussed in the same breath as the Packers' for the first time since I started doing this blog. But I think I would still take Jennings-Nelson-Jones-Cobb/Driver over Marshall-Bennett-Hester-Jeffery.
How can you consider Hester to be a good WR when he has proven without a shadow of a doubt that he is not.
Kevin Seifert (1:37 PM)
I didn't say he was. I just said the Bears have a good group of receivers.
Appreciate that you have to appeal to the masses, but the Bears and Packers' receivers are not in the same universe. Name one of the Bears' WR that would play over the top 4 in GBay (regardless who you call the top 4). Maybe 1. Then reverse it...
Kevin Seifert (1:45 PM)
There is a bigger dropoff from Marshall to Bennett than there is from Jennings to Nelson. Point was that in the past we wouldn't even have reason to launch the discussion. The Bears have put together a group that merits discussion. That's all.
How do the Bears have a good group of wide receivers? Marshall is the only one with star talent. Bennett is inconsistent. Hester isn't a WR. Jeffrey was a possession receiver with limited speed and effort questions in college. What am I missing?
Kevin Seifert (1:52 PM)
Bennett is not inconsistent. He's very consistent when healthy and has a clear chemistry with Cutler.
Nick (Deerfield, IL)
Uh..when did Jordy Nelson become a hall of famer? My goodness, he has one good season and all of a sudden he is better than Earl Bennett. At least Bennett catches every ball thrown his way.
Kevin Seifert (1:53 PM)
And there is the other side of the argument....
Kevin, these other posters forget one thing about the Bears receivers, a superb back that also catches a pass: Matt Forte
Kevin Seifert (1:54 PM)
Excellent point. He has always been one of the NFL's top receiving backs.
To be clear, I'm not ready to swap the Packers' receivers for the Bears', nor do I think we need to break it down player by player to come to that conclusion. But after years of neglect, the Bears should have their best receiving group in some time. They're not the Packers, but more importantly, they're really not the Bears anymore, either.