Devin Aromashodu trying to catch on in second stint with Bears
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org August 3, 2013 10:00PM
Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Aromashodu (13) catches a ball during NFL football training camp Friday, July 26, 2013, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: September 5, 2013 7:05AM
Not much has changed for Devin Aromashodu since his previous stint with the Bears. He still makes enough big plays to leave you wondering why he can’t make more. It’s all about getting open, getting opportunities, and Aromashodu is making the most of them.
‘‘I think I’m much better [than before],’’ said Aromashodu, who had 34 receptions for 447 yards and four touchdowns with the Bears from 2009 to ’10. ‘‘That was two, three years ago. Experience makes you a much better player.’’
After two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, with whom he averaged 17.6 yards per catch (37 catches, 650 yards, one touchdown), Aromashodu is in a familiar position with the Bears — trying to earn a roster spot. After Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett, the Bears have nine receivers battling for two or three spots, with Eric Weems, Joe Anderson and seventh-round draft pick Marquess Wilson joining Aromashodu at the top of the list.
‘‘He’s continued to progress,’’ coach Marc Trestman said. ‘‘He’s learning the offense, and he’s a smart guy. He understands what’s going on. I know the quarterbacks have a confidence level in him because they’ve been around him. They know him a little bit better than the coaches do.’’
Aromashodu, an Auburn product who played with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis in 2007, showed a knack for big plays after he was claimed off the Washington Redskins’ practice squad in 2009.
Aromashodu made an impact in spot duty with the Bears in 2009. He had eight catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in a 21-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He had seven receptions for 150 yards against the Vikings, including a game-winning 39-yard touchdown catch from Jay Cutler in a 36-30 overtime victory. He followed that up with two touchdown catches in a 37-23 win over the Detroit Lions in the season finale.
But after opening the 2010 season as a starter and catching five passes for 71 yards in the opener against the Lions, Aromashodu quickly found himself in Mike Martz’s doghouse. He was inactive by Week 3 and had five receptions for 78 yards the rest of the season.
And then he was gone. But after two unfulfilling seasons with the Vikings, Aromashodu is back with the Bears. He hasn’t changed. When he catches the ball, you usually notice.
‘‘It didn’t go the way I wanted to [the first time with the Bears],’’ Aromashodu said. ‘‘I’m not sure [what went wrong]. I kind of moved on from it because I went to another team. I didn’t focus on it. I haven’t looked back since.’’
At 29, Aromashodu still believes he’s just getting started.
‘‘I’m definitely still ascending because I haven’t really had the opportunity to play a full season,’’ he said. ‘‘So I think I’ve got a lot of upside.’’