Over the past few seasons, I’ve watched the Chicago Bears struggle in stretches with regards to moving the ball down the field consistently. A lot of the blame has been attributed to the inconsistent play of the o-line and deservedly so. However, another weakness of our team is the core of wide receivers. Both Johnny Knox and Devin Hester have speed at the position, but neither guy can stretch the field or make enough plays where the opposing defense has to make them a focus. In addition to that, both players struggle when they play against physical defenders who can jam them at the line of scrimmage.
Watching Jay Cutler get sacked over 50 times in the 2010 campaign along with the downward spiral of the offense once he suffered a broken thumb last season, left a bad taste in my mouth to say the least. Every fan in Chicago has stated that the Bears need a number one receiver, a player who is capable of changing the outcome of a game. In acquiring Brandon Marshall from the Miami Dolphins for two future third-round picks, it appears the new general manager was listening.
Not only does Marshall bring play-making ability to the position, he also brings instant chemistry because he and Cutler played together in Denver for a few seasons. With Jay Cutler having a receiver like Marshall to throw the ball to, the offense will definitely have a different look in the 2012 season. Opposing teams will no longer have the luxury of stacking eight or nine players in the box to stop the run because of what Marshall brings to the table. It has been a decade since we had a player who caught for over 1000 yards in a season (Marty Booker 2002), but with Marshall in the fold, that streak will hopefully come to an end.
Of course there are two sides to every story and this one is no different. It is no secret that Marshall has had some problems off the field during his career, including an incident that took place not too long ago where he allegedly hit a woman, giving her a black eye. Whether the story is actually true or not is uncertain. However, whether you’re a celebrated athlete, or a regular Joe like myself, mistakes are going to happen at one time or another. What matters is the lessons that we learn from them to the extent of not repeating the behavior in the future.
The acquisition does have potential risk, but if the talented wide-receiver can produce on the field, while staying out of trouble outside the lines, he will be an asset to the organization for a number of years to come.