Monday, June 2, 2014
Jeffery: Bears have 'two best receivers'
By Michael C. Wright
Normally quiet, Alshon Jeffery apparently has gained a little more confidence and swagger from Brandon Marshall's mentorship, judging from the former’s comments recently to Sporting News.
Jeffery said he and Marshall in 2013 were the league’s two best receivers. As a duo, they were, combining for a monstrous 189 catches for 2,716 yards and 19 touchdowns, but Jeffery also knows it’s time to put that accomplishment in the past.
“I’m not the type of person that brags a lot about anything,” Jeffery said. “But I feel that last year, what we did, we were at the top of the list as the two best receivers. But that was last year. This year we have to set our goal and try our best to do the same thing we did last year, if not better.”
Jeffery gained a team-high 1,421 receiving yards on 89 receptions for seven touchdowns in his second season, which ranked as No. 6 in the NFL. He’s already put together the two biggest receiving games in franchise history (218 yards against New Orleans and 249 yards at Minnesota last season). Asked about a potential nickname, Jeffery came up with “The Show.”
“I feel like every time I try to catch the ball and make a play, I try to put on a show. So that’s what I would call myself,” Jeffery said.
Nobody’s arguing Jeffery’s ability to make such plays, but as the receiver mentioned before: 2013 is the past. He’s got to gain a level of consistency before he can legitimately put himself in Marshall’s class.
Marshall recently signed a three-year extension worth $30 million, and Jeffery could be in line for a similar payday. Jeffery has two years remaining on his rookie contract.
“Alshon has potential,” Marshall said. “We can’t crown him right now. You have to be consistent. You have to stay healthy. He has all the potential in the world if he can do that, if he can stay humble. That’s what got him here. So if he can do that, he’ll set himself up to secure his family and get him some stability. I think we have the guys in this locker room that can really help him with that.”
Jeffery told Sporting News that the game “slowed down for me” last season, and he doesn’t see 2014 as a daunting challenge despite the expectation that defenses will now consistently gear up to neutralize him.
“I feel with the hard work I put in, the results you’ll see will show for itself,” he said.