Bears Receivers Turn Their Swag On

By Ted Cahill

The NFL preseason is a lot like Soulja Boy to me.

I feel bad having any connection to it, like I’m committing some sort of crime against humanity by supporting it, but everyone else eats it up. They lead with it on SportsCenter and “Kiss Me Through the Phone” goes to the top of the charts. Since its all around me I inevitably get sucked in somehow and find myself signing along to “Turn My Swag On,” and wondering how that exhibition game went.

I knew the Bears played Saturday and I thought I didn’t care. That is until a headline in the Chicago Tribune caught my eye. “Labeled a weak spot, receiving corps dispellin” and then my RSS feed cut it off, but my interest was already peaked. We all know that Chicago’s awful receivers are the reason not to assume Jay Cutler will repeat his fantastic season, so if they’re coming around I’m paying attention.

Looking deeper into the Bears’ second preseason game, I found that Devin Hester didn’t act much like a no. one receiver. Two catches for 14 yards isn’t the game breaker everyone thinks he can become.

Also a miscommunication between him and Cutler led to an incompletion. That’s the second time that’s cost the Bears already. I’ve never been high on Hester and if that’s the best Cutler has to work with I’ll still say he’s in trouble.

But it’s beginning to look like there may be more than Hester to the Bears’ receiving group. Earl Bennett also made two catches, but both were big gainers. He also is taking a shot a returning punts and supposedly looking pretty good doing it. Tribune reporter David Haugh calls Bennett the most improved player on the offense. He’s someone to watch for the rest of preseason and probably into the first couple weeks since he’ll likely go undrafted.

If the Bears can find one more receiver that Cutler can rely on this year, he’ll do just fine. I don’t really care if that’s tight end Greg Olsen or the other Devin on the roster, Devin Aromashodu. I’m not here to say that any of these receivers is worth drafting based on two preseason games, but this is a very positive sign for Cutler and the Bears’ in general.

Actual receivers mean more running lanes for Matt Forte and more time to rest the defense. Everyone is going to benefit from having receivers that Cutler trusts to catch the ball.

Maybe they’ll have Cutler signing “I know a lot of y’all thought I wasn’t coming back, yeah, yeah/I had to prove them wrong/Got back in the studio came up wit another hit, yeah, yeah.”