After an injury filled rookie season, Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery spent much of the offseason in Florida working out with teammate Brandon Marshall. As we all witnessed this year, that work paid off in a big way. Jeffery stayed healthy the entire campaign and caught 89 passes for 1,421 yards (6th most in the NFL) and 7 TDs.
Both Marshall and coach Marc Trestman credited Jeffery's offseason work for his substantial improvement this year. Which is why Marshall said earlier this week that Jeffery will again be joining him in Miami in a few months.
"That's our blueprint," said Marshall. "We're going to stick to what we know. That's what got him here, as far as statistically this year, and we're going to build off of that. It's not done. It's only his second year in the league, and what I always tell him is that what got him here is his humility and his hard work, and we're going to continue that. No matter how much money you make, no matter how much they're talking about you, you're going to continue to work. Maybe another year or two down in South Florida with me and then maybe he can go on and do his own thing. But he still needs at least another year with me, and then I don't care where he works out cause he'll have it all figured out."
According to Jay Cutler, Marshall and Jeffery won't be the only Bears players working out in Florida this offseason.
"I'm going to do everything possible in the offseason to make sure that physically I'm as good as I can get at 30, 31 years old," Cutler said today. "I know [Marshall] has the guys down in Miami a lot. I know Marquess [Wilson] is going to head down this year, which will be good for him. Alshon's going again. Marty [Martellus Bennett] will be there. I'm sure we can get [Matt] Forte down. I'm going to go down numerous times and just throw with them.
"I don't think we're going to start until the 15th this year of April, as opposed to doing it two weeks earlier last year. So, a lot of time off. It's important to get with those guys periodically. We don't want to burn them out, but just to keep everything fresh in their minds so when we do start up, it's not back at square one or zero."
The addition of Wilson, last year's seventh-round draft pick, to the group says a lot about his future in the offense, and will only do him good in the long run.
"We see a bright future for Marquess Wilson," GM Phil Emery said. "That is a positive."
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.