Marshall May Go Down As Best Bears WR Ever
Johnny Morris back in the '50s and '60s had 5,059 yards, the most by a wide receiver in Bears history. Harlon Hill caught 226 passes but ended his career with a severed Achilles tendon and failed to perform at the same rate post-surgery. You probably remember Willie Gault as the huge — and ridiculously fast — reason the Bears had a successful year in 1985, and went on to capture their last Super Bowl. I’m a '90s baby, and remember Marty Booker and Curtis Conway.
Just to put it in perspective though: Brandon “The Beast” Marshall is in the Top 100 for yards by a receiver, and he’s only played seven years. His dodging and his breaking skills are so great that back in 2009 he set an NFL record for 21 receptions in a game. He’s also the only NFL player to have at least 10 receptions in four out of five games.
Last year, reunited with his old Broncos pal Jay Cutler, Marshall produced personal bests with 1,508 yards (passing Marcus Robinson’s single-season franchise record), 118 receptions (breaking Booker’s previous franchise record of 101), and 11 touchdowns.
"He's a guy I can count on in about every situation and that's why we brought him here," Cutler said of his top playmaker. "He has done some great things. We obviously stole him from Miami, so we should send them a Christmas card."
Marshall has only had one year in which he's had less than 1,000 yards in a season. Even in those two forgettable seasons as a Miami Dolphin, he still put up pretty good numbers in terms of yardage. But in his first season in Chicago, Marshall had more touchdowns (11) in 2012 than he had in his two years at Miami (9).
Whether it's the familiarity factor with Cutler or anything of the sort, he's already settled into Chicago quite nicely in his first year, and has given Chicago a weapon that they've never had. He's doing his part, so it won't be his fault if the Bears don't reach the playoffs this year.
Yes, the NFL may be in a pass-happy era, but Marshall isn't making many mistakes when he's had the ball thrown to him. If Chicago feels obliged to give him a reason to stay for the long term, which considering sooner or later he's going to cost a pretty penny, then they'll have their best wide receiver ever.
That doesn't say much at first glance, but it's a start.
So, he may not be the best Bears receiver of all time in terms of his contributions to the franchise, but keep in mind, it’s only been one year. He’s the best receiver we’ve had the pleasure of calling our own — and hopefully he’ll break some more records.