Bears rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery already a fan favorite
By JOE COWLEY email@example.com August 3, 2012 10:50PM
Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler passes downfield to a receiver in open practice at Bear Family Fest at Soldier Field, August 3, 2012. | Dom Najolia~Sun-Times
Updated: September 5, 2012 6:52PM
Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is one of several rookies who’ve been the talk of camp in Bourbonnais, and, boy, that hype travels fast.
The Bears’ second-round pick out of South Carolina, Jeffery heard applause anytime he snagged a pass Friday, but the Soldier Field crowd went nuts in the one-on-one drills, when Jeffery ran a fly down the right sideline, beating Chris Conte with a great over-the-shoulder catch.
Jeffery, who has been bouncing back and forth between the first team and second team, continues to impress. Just don’t ask him about possibly being the No. 2 option after Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall.
“Whatever the team needs me to do to step up and make plays, I’m down to do,’’ Jeffery said.
At least in practice, Marshall, Devin Hester and Earl Bennett have the top three spots locked up, but Jeffery can jump into that mix if he continues making big strides. At 6-3, he also looks like a good option in the red zone.
“It’s about trying to go out and compete, make each other better,’’ Jeffery said.
Devin in, Brian out
Hester was back in practice for the annual Family Fest after he was excused from practice Thursday for personal reasons. Meanwhile, the Bears were being cautious with middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (left knee), sitting him out for a second consecutive day.
“Brian’s knee is still a little bit sore,’’ coach Lovie Smith said.
He’s expected back by Monday.
The secret is out
Marshall gave the 27,352 fans in attendance something to scream about, saying over the PA system after practice, “This is just between us … let’s keep it here — Super Bowl!’’
Smith had no problem with that.
“It would be hard to tell guys, ‘Hey, let’s try and win eight games, let’s try and win a division,’ ’’ Smith said. ‘‘We have an ultimate goal. That’s what everyone in the locker room is trying to do. I think all 32 teams would say that; no problem with that at all.’’