suntimes
DYNAMIC 
Weather Updates

Bears’ Brandon Marshall: Get Alshon Jeffery to Pro Bowl

Updated: December 18, 2013 10:41PM



Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall is a candidate to go to his fifth Pro Bowl, but he’s more interested in getting teammate Alshon Jeffery to his first.

Jeffery, a second-year wide receiver from South Carolina, has 80 receptions for 1,265 yards (15.8-yard average) and seven touchdowns this season. He’s seventh in the NFL in yards, 10th in receptions and 12th in yards per catch.

Marshall has 90 receptions for 1,185 yards (13.2 average) and 10 touchdowns. He’s fourth in receptions, ninth in yards and tied for seventh in touchdowns.

Marshall, who currently is sixth in Pro Bowl voting among wide receivers, said ‘‘it would be a shame’’ if Jeffery is not named. Jeffery is not in the top 10.

‘‘He has confidence about himself,’’ Marshall said Wednesday at Halas Hall. ‘‘Last year we sat down and talked about goals, and his goal was to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Some older guys would look at that kid like, ‘You’re ridiculous.’ I looked at it and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got the same attitude. You’ve got to dream big. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will.’ I respected him for that. [So] everybody out there, you need to vote for Alshon Jeffery, Pro Bowl.’’

Hester leads voting

In a new ‘‘playground-style’’ format in which most of the players will be drafted by voting leaders, Devin Hester is leading among kick returners. Other Bears in the top 10 are cornerbacks Charles Tillman (fourth) and Tim Jennings (eighth), special-teamer Eric Weems (fourth), strong safety Major Wright (fifth), kicker Robbie Gould (fifth), running back Matt Forte (sixth), tight end Martellus Bennett (eighth) and guard Kyle Long (ninth).

My left foot

Defensive tackle Stephen Paea hopes to play more Sunday than he did last week, when he was limited to 15 snaps, but admits his turf toe is bothering him.

‘‘My left foot is a piece of glass,’’ he said. ‘‘You stomp on it and stomp on it and all of a sudden it breaks — and it takes you two weeks to put it back together. My right foot is a piece of iron. You can hammer it all year.’’

Bears sign OT Long

The Bears signed offensive tackle Joe Long to their 53-man roster off the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad.

The 6-5, 304-pound Long, an undrafted free agent from Wayne State (Mich.) in 2012, is the brother of 2008 No. 1 overall draft pick Jake Long, a Pro Bowl tackle with the St. Louis Rams. He was the Gene Upshaw Award winner as the top offensive/defensive lineman in Division II in 2011.

Injury update

Marshall sat out practice with a sore hamstring as a precaution, coach Marc Trestman said. Linebacker Lance Briggs (fractured shoulder) practiced on a limited basis, but Trestman said he is optimistic Briggs will play Sunday.

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MarkPotash



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.