Booker Broke the Bank

There is no argument that Marty Booker and Anthony Thomas were the key offensive weapons for Chicago in 2001, but at the same time is the wideout worthy of the richest contract in franchise history.

Booker broke Johnny Morris' team record of 93 receptions in a season by catching 100 balls last year. His career high in catches coming into last season was 47.

Booker said he was disappointed with his production in his first two seasons in the league, so he rededicated himself and lost 10 pounds thanks to a rigorous off-season training regiment. The added quickness and unfortunate injury to Marcus Robinson made Booker the Bears number one receiving option.

Despite hitting the century mark in catches Booker totaled just 1,071 yards receiving, which worked out to be 10.7 yards per catch. His average was near the bottom among the reception leaders.

So, is Booker a possession receiver or is the Bears short passing game holding him back?

He did have several big games in 2001 highlighted by a three-touchdown performance in a win over Tampa Bay. He tallied 165 yards receiving including scores from 28, 44 and 66 yards out.

Booker was the Bears most consistent performer last season. Whether it was third and 2 or third and long John Shoop called Booker's name.

The league didn't have a lot of for the Bears passing game, which allowed Chicago's receivers to roam, as Anthony Thomas was the focal point of opposing defenses.

Will Booker be the number one receiving option with a healthy Robinson and a more experienced Terrell? With the money the Bears dished out, he better be.


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