The Chicago Bears passing attack leaned heavily on Brandon Marshall in recent seasons. He broke single-season franchise records with 118 catches and 1,508 yards in 2012 and followed that up with a 100-catch, 1,295-yard campaign in 2013.
Marshall commanded the attention of opposing defenses, which created juicy 1-on-1 opportunities for the club’s other pass catchers. He’s also the best blocking wide receiver in the NFL.
The Bears traded Marshall to the New York Jets this off-season and the offense now must move on without its most prolific pass catcher.
Fortunately, the Monsters of the Midway are well suited to weather the loss of Marshall.
Alshon Jeffery has earned two trips to the Pro Bowl and has developed into one of the toughest receivers in the league to cover in man-to-man sets. He looked outstanding during off-season activities and appears more than ready to fill the role of the No. 1 widout in Chicago.
Jeffery won’t have to do it alone though. The front office added first-round receiver Kevin White, one of the most athletically gifted receivers to come from the collegiate ranks in years, and slot receiver Eddie Royal, who caught 91 passes from Jay Cutler in 2008.
And don’t sleep on Marquess Wilson, a third-year wideout who could excel if given the opportunity.
Marshall’s loss is significant but not disastrous, as the Bears have more than enough options to replace his production in the passing attack.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fifth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter.