114 Comments

Alshon Jeffery Faces Make or Break 2015 Season

| June 11th, 2015

hi-res-152308007-alshon-jeffery-of-the-chicago-bears-sits-on-the-bench_crop_north

Before the draft new Bears General Manager Ryan Pace was asked if Alshon Jeffery was a “number one” wide receiver. He was complimentary of Jeffery, but he never said “yes.” New coach John Fox indicated work ethic and conditioning were a concern for Jeffery, a possible reason they haven’t approached him about a new contract.

If you listen to what Fox’s buddy Jay Glazer said during the draft, it wasn’t just that the Bears loved Kevin White. They were targeting a wide receiver with the seventh pick. Teams don’t make that kind of investment — in addition to what they already have in Matt Forte and Marty Bennett — if they think they already have a star receiver. At least smart teams don’t and the teams Pace and Fox have been associated with in the past have not done so.

The fact that there are still questions about Jeffery seems crazy when you look at his production. Jeffrey won’t turn 26 until the end of this season and has already caught 174 passes for 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

After suffering a hamstring injury in the first game of the season, Jeffery’s 2015 season was impressive, catching 85 passes and 10 touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, Jay Cutler and Jimmy Clausen had an average passer rating of 105 when throwing Jeffery’s way. But he was still the second option and was third on the team in receptions.

Jeffery has made a ton of highlight plays for the Bears, but he has struggled when opposing defensive backs get physical with him, sometimes runs sloppy routes and has also dropped numerous passes in key situations. After Brandon Marshall went down, Jeffery had a chance to prove he could be “the guy” in the final three games of the season, but he managed just 12 catches for 184 yards.

Those are real issues that make it hard to argue he is a number one receiver, but that’s exactly what he’s going to try to get paid like. Considering the contract second tier receiver Randall Cobb just received, the minimum the Bears would likely be able to get Jeffrey to sign for is likely $10 million per season. The Bears aren’t going to pay him that kind of money until they know he’s worth it.

If Jeffery isn’t their number one, it’s hard to see where he fits with the Bears going forward, unless he signs for number two money. While Kevin White’s rookie contract would make paying Jeffery easier, it also raises questions about the allocation of resources. There really isn’t any evidence that investing major assets in  star wide receivers increases Super Bowl odds.

The Bears haven’t made a final decision, but it’s clear which way they’re leaning. Jeffery gets a chance to prove his worth this year. He is going to get the most passes thrown his way. He just has to take advantage. Having been doubted since he left South Carolina, the big wide receiver now has sixteen games to prove the Bears wrong and prove he is worth top money at his position.

Tagged:

  • Trac

    I feel you on Alshon Andrew. The truth is, we don’t know a lot of the Bears current players worth yet. This year is going to be like opening a box of chocolates, we’re not going to know what we’re gonna get until we see how the players perform under Fox’s system. This is going to be a very interesting year.

  • The GP

    Andy Frain,

    I hope now that BM is gone, that Alshon has gone back down to Florida and conditioned his legs in the offseason. Because he is a bit soft. His hammys came up on him last season because of conditioning. Work ethic was why he fell down the board, a little pinch and inch around the waist.

    White looks like a beast. So hopefully the challenge is there and Jeffery has accepted.

    I call you Andy Frain, because you are USHER-ing a new season in. Get it? Al? Waffle? Anybody?

    (silencio)

    • AlbertInTucson

      Yep. I remember the Andy Frain Ushers.

      • Trac

        Went to school with one of the Frain nephews. Total puss.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Andy Do Frain ? Zijuatenxjo … or whateverthefuck ?

    • AlbertInTucson

      You KNOW most of them took the job to get into events for free.

  • The GP

    Long takes a few rep at RT.

    When reporters try and ask Pace about it, he gives them a fuck-off answer:

    http://www.chicagofootball.com/2015/06/10/chicago-bears-give-kyle-long-reps-at-right-tackle-during-ota/axp0c1f/

    • Yeah, I read that. Long has the athleticism to play LT actually. I wonder why he doesn’t try, esp since LTs get paid much more.

      Perhaps it’s because of his limited football experience, but if I were him, I’d be pushing for RT with an eye for LT.

      But perhaps he doesn’t wanna upseat his buddy Mills.

      • NewBearInTown

        Or he might just rather get a big contract as a guard (the top paid guys still get like $8M a year) and try the switch once he’s already getting the big money.
        But I suspect he’s just a team guy that doesn’t think that way. He’ll play hard and expect the money to come. And he’ll do what his coaches ask of him, even if its a less glamorous position.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Well, about time …… when you have twelve million guards and only Jordan Mills at RT ….

  • Bears-4-Ever

    I predict Jeffery will have a career record season if he can stay healthy. I’ve always liked this guy and felt he was standing in BM’s shadow when he really didn’t need to be. This guy is going to have us standing with arms raised. You’ll see. Bear Down.

    • Irish Sweetness

      If BM is not on this team the last two years …. how many TDs would AJ have? I think it would be far south of 17.

      Kw, AJ, Matty and Eddie Royal will definitely be interesting … and that Zack Miller is a dark horse. Pumped we have a new Center, I think he’ll make all the difference.

  • The GP
    • Sactowns#1

      I’ve never been to Nashville so cant compare.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Was there once for a Broadcast seminar. Quite a while back when OPRYLAND was still a going concern. Beautiful City. But it was summer. I think they get some wintry crap there. Maybe some flooding too.

    • Trac

      Must be awfully slow at the office today GP. Hahaha

    • BerwynBomber

      Can’t blame her and Cutty for that attitude. Winters alone — let alone traffic and crime — can drive one to relocate.

      • not to mention all the hate Cutler gets from Chicago fans. If I was in his shoes I’d way rather live in Nashville after I retire too than listen to drunk assholes tell me I suck for the rest of my life.

        • BerwynBomber

          Can’t agree with you there. Cutty has more fans drunk on his “talent” than critical of his results/performance. (Go back to Blogfagther’s polls if you doubt it.)

          But if a player wants to get away from fans in general … yeah.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            i thought the polls only showed that basically Cutty was the best option we had, and fans were willing to deal with him.

          • No, ppl actually thought he was good.
            I suspected Johnny voted a 1,000 times though on a Tradewind fueled binge…

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            i admit i don’t remember the polls that much, only remember the comments, and i thought most that commented thought he was the best option.

          • Waffle

            haha, just one vote. Football teams that experience sustained success and win championships, oddly enough, actually have good players at all positions and competent coaching. I know, it’s a wild idea, but actually true.
            It’s tough to get excited about the Bears right now with the Hawks 3 games from the Cup. I don’t have the drive to post anything even though I feel like the team will have a much different vibe and dynamic now that Emery and Trestman are gone.
            I look at a guy like Bennett holding out in an important year while across town the guys are playing like warriors.

          • Irish Sweetness

            The best option we had? From what? The roster ? We never explored options, so we don’t know what the options were.

          • willbest

            How do you know we haven’t explored other options? You don’t know all the research the front office has done on QBs over the last 3-5 years.

        • BearDown100393

          I thought he didn’t care?

        • willbest

          Easiest way to get rid of drunk assholes telling you, you suck is to win a SB. Then you can open up Cutler’s and soak those same assholes for a few million a year.

      • willbest

        The only crimes that happen in Lake Forest are DUIs and maybe citation for an unkept lawn if your gardener is out sick for a week.

    • BearDown100393

      She has a point. And it will infinitely improve when the team has a new quarterback.

    • “”We moved really fast. He told me he loved me after 2 wks & that he wanted 2 marry me aftr 2 months. I knew right away!,” Cavallari tweeted in a Q&A with fans Wednesday.”

      If only Jay could move through his progressions as quickly.

      Lucky in love, bad at cards…

      • Sactowns#1

        lol

      • Irish Sweetness

        2 weeks. Like a kid.
        (facepalm)
        If I was an NFL QB you’d find my DNA across a third of the planet like Genghis Khan.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Well then get the @#$%! out of my house and take your boy with you !

      Won’t be for long sweetheart.

  • Huge Bear’s Penis

    i can’t see how you can put any emphasis on the last 3 games last year especially since the entire team was a pile of hot garbage. You could throw Calvin Johnson in that situation and he probably would have only caught 12 passes(maybe 14 he’s pretty good), especially since Clausen was the QB for one of those games and Cutty checked out on the coaching staff after their cluster fuck.

  • 505Bears

    RIP The American Dream

    • Sactowns#1

      I’m guessing heart attack?
      And this must have been in the 80’s. Regan was the kind of creating hard times.

  • The GP

    Non-celebrity 930 air-cooled Turbos already fetch an obnoxious premium, with many cars in excellent condition fetching the same coin as a brand new GT3.

    But it’s cool to think that McQueen’s last ride before he passed (from cancer no less) was a 930 Turbo. If you had asked me what car I thought McQueen should have owned before he died, I would have said a 930 Turbo just like this:

    • Irish Sweetness

      Is it just the 911 that drives like a dog? I remember Clarkson hammering a Porsche on its driving characteristics to the point where I wondered why people bought them.

  • NewBearInTown

    JWood, I have a good topic for you to ply your trade at.

  • The GP
    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      not crazy enough, rap sheet to short, and no NFL scandals or participation in any “gates”.

      • Sactowns#1

        33 (34 this season) and he’s trying to strong arm for more than $5mil a year? Seems crazy enough to me.

        • NewBearInTown

          He’s probably still a good fit for the right team. Our problem is we already have two guards we’re paying decent money to and Kyle Long will need a new contract soon. We can’t pay three starting guards.

    • “Evan’s been available to trade for two years now and we’ve never had an offer for him,” Kelly said during the NFL draft.

      Zing! He’ll probably go to a contender. Chip is definitely getting rid of me-players. Shady thought it was a race thing, but Chip doesn’t flinch cutting off good talent with bad attitude. Maybe Bennett should take note.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Another guard?

  • The scary part is that I’m beginning to tell the difference between Andrew and Jeff pieces (except if it’s about Cutty, then it’s the bopsy twins).

    Alshon seems like a capable WR, but I’ve always questioned if he can truly be a #1 in the mold of Fitz or even Bmarsh.

    He doesn’t come off as that Alpha dog (like White), so I guess we’re going to find out if he can be self-motivated without Bmarsh.

    Did Alshon create his own Bmarsh-U this off-season?

    It would’ve been nice if he took over the torch, but like I said, he’s not exactly an Alpha.

  • BearDown100393

    Muhsin Muhammad would like to offer his opinion about the Chicago Bears and wide receiver careers.

    • Bender McLugh

      too soon

  • Dang, I tried posting a 2015 draft class HOF, but didn’t go through. Anywho…long story short, my 3 nominees of HOFers from the past draft class.

    Scherff.
    White.
    Gurley.

    PBers:

    Amari.
    Yeldon.
    Shelton.

    Busts.

    Randy Gregory
    Armstead
    Bud Dupree

  • Since MB is awol, I have to pick up the perv slack.

    Top 3 poon capitals (hottest chicks)?

    L.A.
    Ukraine
    Brazil

    Would like to hear Da Blog’s expertise on this, from personal experience, or, ahem, a “friend’s”

    • Bender McLugh

      AMSTERDAM.

    • Sactowns#1

      LA? You crazy! If you’re talking # of hot women perhaps but ratio hell no! There are entire swaths of LA where you would be hard pressed to find a 6 let alone a bunch of 9’s and 10’s.
      And you cant switch from a city to entire countries. Rio I could see. I would put Prague on the list just because almost every woman between 20-35 is smoking hot. Their ratio is way high.

      • Los Angeles, not Louisiana. I mean, I live in L.A. and I can testify that there’s ssssoooo many hot chicks.

        Yeah, I switched to countries after that lol

        • The GP

          Arkansas hot.

          Ewwww.

      • Bender McLugh

        I have to say the most beautiful women is ever seen are in Donegal, Ireland. Those who laugh have never been. look you in the eye nice to everyone & anyone

        • my co-workers look me in the eye. That is not part of the poon equation!

        • Irish Sweetness

          Dude, really? Irish girls are so big, although a lot smaller than Americans on the whole … and …uh … around the hole.

        • Sactowns#1

          I’ve been to Ireland. The women were very friendly but I wouldn’t say they were that attractive.

    • Irish Sweetness

      The Issan region of Thailand. Where ALL the hookers come from. Buriram, in fact.

      Laotian and Cambodian chicks are also very sexy.

    • BearDown100393

      Dorne

    • beninnorcal

      Prague

  • Bender McLugh

    OL Mathis just released from Eagles over contract. Upgrade for most teams, including us

    • Nah. Too Old. Too expensive.
      We gotta reboot, like batman.

      • The GP

        Like Murray

        • Irish Sweetness

          Here’s Murray and Damon on Graham Norton. They have a lot of fun on ‘British’ chat shows (Norton’s Irish), where you can drink. They had fun here.

          • The GP

            Tubez blocked that in US.

          • Bender McLugh

            Graham “Cringe-worthy” Norton

  • Irish Sweetness

    17 TDs in two years? Wow. They’re good numbers for a #2, and he IS a #2. Kevin looks like our #1 to be.

  • Irish Sweetness

    So did anyone see ‘Ex Machina’ yet, or what?

    • Bender McLugh

      yep. While Alex Garland is definitely one of the most important scifi writers/directors in the past several years, I was kinda disappointed in this one. Sunshine was MUCH better.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Man, he did pretty well on this I thought. The movie ran about two minutes too long though. Elevator doors close. End credits.

        • Bender McLugh

          that ending……ugh

  • Bender McLugh

    I didn’t understand Andrew’s line about Jeffrey work ethic being in question, and the link he provides doesn’t say Fox believes that. And now, this.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago-bears/post/_/id/4698855/john-fox-impressed-by-alshon-jefferys-work-ethic

  • Bender McLugh
  • willbest

    Anybody that uses the last 3 games of 2014 for any kind of assessment, has a couple screws loose. Jeffery is one of the 32 best WRs in the NFL, which makes him a #1. And no it wasn’t because a one-legged BMarsh drew an excessive amount of D attention. If you think White is the next BMarsh/Megatron, you draft him because he makes Jeffery that much better, and by the time you have to pay White, you can let Jeffery go, if you want to.

    Plus if this is the last year as a Bear for Forte and Allen, you have more cap than you know what to do with.

  • The GP

    Spikes used the Maybach for road rage, running a family off the road. Hitting a deer was a cover story slash lie. That’s the Patriots way.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2015/06/12/brandon-spikes-charges-hit-and-run/71120752/

  • The GP

    LA woman may be hot, NY woman be cray-cray

    NY woman mess up your 996 Cabrio

    http://www.autoevolution.com/news/when-things-go-wrong-hide-your-porsche-911-where-your-boo-wont-find-it-96588.html

    In Germany, this would get you thrown in Porsche prison.

  • AlbertInTucson
    • BerwynBomber

      Helluva player but another diva/headache WR.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Among the 26 “Sports” that have just applied for Olympic Status:

    Bridge.

    Chess.

    What? No Nerf?

    • NewBearInTown

      Chess has a very active world body (FIDE) that is similar to FIFA in a lot of ways (totally corrupt, but still brings some nice cash for programs in developing countries). I definitely see the appeal in including chess as an Olympic sport.
      But, I’m not sure I’d advocate including it. It doesn’t have the same pace as most other Olympic sports, and the skills required do not produce “athletic” looking players (although stamina is a big part of it). I view chess as being like Nascar in that way.
      I think Bridge would probably be similar, but I don’t believe it has the same level of interest in international youth leagues and the like.

      • willbest

        I would rather watch a chess match than curling

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          i love curling. it is the one sport that could have originated in a bar in some cold ass town in the middle of winter.

          Picture this, a guy walks into a bar. gets a little tipsy and him and his buddies start playing darts. A small scuffle breaks out and they break the dart board. the bar owner gets pissed makes the guys drink outside in the ice covered beer garden as punishment. while out their competitive natures prevail as they start sliding rocks across the ice at a trash can to see who can get closest. Curling is born.

          • willbest

            The late Robin Williams had the best bar origination story of a sport

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        this makes chess more interesting.

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          my bad did not see JWoods response below on chess boxing.

    • paintball?

      • AlbertInTucson

        Tag.

        Hide ‘n Seek.

        Hopscotch.

        4 Square.

        Kickball.

        • Red Rover

          Chess boxing (yes, it’s a thing, and yes, that would actually be pretty fun to have in the Olympics) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK5TQSKmS3o

          T-ball

          Dodgeball (that would actually be REALLY fun to watch IMO)

          Poker

          • AlbertInTucson

            Buck Buck.

          • NewBearInTown

            Chess Boxing is a pretty cool thing I agree. I think, if chess was going to be in the Olympics, it would need to be part of some kind of decathalon type event.

          • I’d be interested to see what would happen if you put the world’s #1 chess boxer against the world’s #1 boxer, but give him 3 months to train with a chess master first to learn the chess.

          • AlbertInTucson

            When I was in grade school, we called it “Battlefield Bombardment” and we played with balls made of the same rubber material as the Kickball /4-Square balls except they were about the size of a 16″ Clincher softball. Great fun.

        • willbest

          Reminds me of the Vince Vaughn Dodgeball movie. On ESPN 8 – The Ocho

          • Irish Sweetness

            Vince is in the new season of True Detective with Colin Farrell. Odd couple.

    • willbest

      I would be more interested in competitive eating. That chick that can eat 72 hotdogs in 5-minutes or whatever it is.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Apparently your brain uses half your supply of oxygen when you play tournament chess. I remember Kasparov saying that when he played Nigel Short over a series back in the eighties. You need to be fit.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Problem with the Hope Solo case is that it’s just a case of…

    “She Said / She said”

    • willbest

      It makes it hard because the legal system doesn’t know who to automatically side with.

      • Johnnywad

        They usually go with the one that’s all beat up

    • BearDown100393

      She’s a beater. And a piece of garbage. Don’t need that representing our nation.

      • AlbertInTucson

        And of course, if she were a male, she wouldn’t be.

        • BearDown100393

          Agreed. Double standard.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Andrew Dannehy @ChiBearsAD
    Mike Groh LOVES Marq Wilson. Loves his route running and hands (even though he dropped a ton last year). Cutler also loved Wilson…
    Retweeted by DaBearsBlog”
    I know it HASN’T been, but doesn’t it SEEM like we’ve been waiting a long time for Marquess Wilson to make an impact?

    • The GP

      Don’t hold your breath.

      • right now he’s penciled in as the 4th WR, which should be a supplementary role unless people above him get hurt.
        I really think the Bears are going to spread the ball around more in the passing game in 2015. They only lost one target (Marshall), but added 2 in FA who have averaged 50+ targets a year (Royal, Rodgers), drafted one in the first round (White), and have a healthy Wilson, who would have gotten probably 60-70 targets last year if he played all year.
        By my count, that’s 7 guys capable of factoring somewhat heavily in the passing game, where last year they only had 5 (and only 2.25 games with all 5 on the field).

    • willbest

      He has only been on the team for two years. In 2013 he was the 6th or 7th receiving option on a team where the first 5 missed all of 1 game, and he is on a team where the QB doesn’t like to go past his second progression before dumping it off.

      2014 is a bit of an enigma. On the one hand he missed a bunch of games due to a serious injury, and when he finally got back the wheels were coming off on the season. But he did get 32 targets of which he only caught 17 of them. Not exactly the % you want to stick on the audition tape unless you are averaging 14+ YPC, which he wasn’t (only 8.5 YPC).

      Given his low station and cheap contract, he should have been properly motivated by his expendable situation.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Never me, Al. Boggles the mind how anyone wold expect anything from a 7th round receiver. Kevin White, I’m expecting to be a #1 in his first year, because he’d better be/ has to be. Alshon’s a good foil, but he’s not The Guy. I doubt we’ll hear Wilson’s name mentioned this year if ever.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Ho-hum. ANOTHER 1 goal game in the Stanley Cup Final.

    Hawks win.

    Oh, pass the blood pressure medication, please.

  • StarkyLuv

    And blah, blah, blah. Jeffery’s biggest problem is that he drops ball in big games in big situations. Two years ago, Bears make the playoffs if he doesn’t fumble or kill the Bears final two drives with drops.

    He continued to do this last season as well. When the pressure’s on, he drops the ball. Clean THAT up and then talk contract.

© Da' Bears Blog