BR Rookie Diary: Marquess Wilson

Bear Report goes one-on-one with Bears seventh-round rookie wide receiver Marquess Wilson, who has earned increased playing time of late, including last week against the Packers.

Through the first seven contests this season, Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver had played just seven total snaps. Yet against the Green Bay Packers last week, Wilson more than doubled that total, playing 15 snaps on Monday night.

He's only caught one pass this year but his increasing role on offense is a good sign for this year's seventh rounder going forward. Bear Report goes one-on-one with Wilson to discuss his first trip to Lambeau Field.

"It was great to finally get up to Green Bay and play the Packers. I've heard so much about that city and about the team since I joined the Bears. All the rookies get an education on football history when they first join this team. I learned about Coach Lombardi and the arguments he used to have with coach Halas.

"There's such a history there. When our bus first arrived at the stadium I was thinking, ‘this is crazy I'm playing at Green Bay'. It was definitely fun.

"I read about how the fans used to throw stuff at Bears players when they went north. Stuff like bottles and rocks, and probably things a lot worse than that came flying towards the players' heads. It's calmed down a lot since those early days, or maybe law enforcement is more active. Davie Bass insists that Packers fans were throwing rocks at my window on the bus. He's kidding, I think."

How does a quarterback switch affect things in terms of scheme or the overall game plan?

"It doesn't. The Bears offense came together and jelled quickly this past game. We put basic plays in during the week of practice and they usually stay as they were presented to us. You might alter one thing or another slightly, like using more of a running game or go to the passing game instead, but for the most part, the game approach stays the same.

"Josh [McCown] has done a great job stepping in. All the NFL experience he's had certainly paid off for him when it counted. And, as you probably noticed if you were at the game or watching it on television, Jay is right there on the sidelines working things out with Josh. It's like having an extra coach on the field.

"Communication for us with both Jay and Josh has always been excellent. They are seasoned veterans who know how to run things on the field. Their similarities are such that when one steps in for the other, as Josh did for Jay, the transition is fairly seamless. It's the same basic approach. The quarterbacks lead; the receivers fill their roles.

"I was in the game for a while and had a great time. There is no better way for a rookie to learn than to be on the field. There was pressure to do well of course, but that is part of the fun. But nobody ever wants to mess up on Monday Night Football because a lot of people are watching."

How is your game progressing?

"I guess I'd say I am satisfied with my progress this far, but understand I have a long way to go in learning the game at this level. Every day I try to improve my technique.

"Having guys to watch like [Brandon] Marshall, [Matt] Forte, Martellus [Bennett], [Alshon] Jeffery, and all the other great players on our offense is a daily education. They are always available to help the new guys perfect our skills.

"Your adrenaline is going to be pumping all the time in every game but a Monday Night game against your division rival is something really special. I had some nerves before kickoff but once the game began, I just wanted to get in there and play. What you want to do when your number is called is handle the situation correctly. There is no margin for error in an NFL game.

"I haven't been in a whole lot yet this season but that's fine. I can be patient.

"I am getting good experience every time I do get to play. Learning how to play in practice is good but game experience is invaluable. When I'm not out there, I watch what the guys are doing and listen to the coaches. You can pick up a lot that way.

"The long drives we had were the result of executing on the plays and doing what we set out to do on the field. Everybody has a very specific assignment. When things go right, you get a result like that.

"As the game wound down, Josh did an excellent job of keeping everybody calm and focused. We were excited because we felt we could get the win. Nobody wanted to make a mental mistake and lose. I could feel the tension building as the clock ticked down. That's when you give it everything you've got, and then you give more.

"The locker room afterwards was great. I had a ton of texts from friends and family. All the guys did. It's a great feeling to know you tried your best and everything worked. We'll all enjoy this for a while, then get right back down to business and prepare to meet the Detroit Lions on Sunday."


Beth Gorr has been covering the Bears for the last 12 years and is the author of Bear Memories: The Chicago-Green Bay Rivalry. She is currently working on a second book about early Bears history.

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