Dec 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) is unable to catch a pass while defended by Detroit Lions cornerback Ron Bartell (41) during the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears Training-Camp Notebook: Alshon Jeffery Shedding Soft Label

There is a noticeable difference between the Chicago Bears’ wide receivers unit this year as opposed to last season, at least that is what wide receiver Brandon Marshall says about his teammate, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

Marshall, while complementing Jeffery’s off-season training, considered the second-year wide receiver to be “soft” during his rookie season.

“He was softer last year, much softer,” Marshall said. “Now he’s strong. He’s a beast.”-Brandon Marshall, Chicago Tribune

Soft certainly may be the operative word when describing Jeffery’s off-season. During his rookie season, it was apparent that Jeffery struggled to separate himself from defenders and that led the receiver to be a favorite target for NFL referees.

That no longer appears to be the case. Jeffery, according to Marshall, will be much more explosive this off-season.

“That play[referring to Jeffery's touchdown catch during the team's 2-minute drill during practice on Tuesday] in the end zone really speaks for his offseason,” wide receiver Brandon Marshall said. “It was a really explosive offseason.”-Marshall, Chicago Tribune

That explosive style of play is something that would figure to benefit the Bears’ in 2013. There is no question that Marshall is the preferred target of quarterback Jay Cutler, but an explosive Jeffery would certainly make life easier for Cutler in the red-zone.

Training camp always ignites talk about potential breakout players. For the Bears, Jeffery could be their breakout candidate.

Tags: Alshon Jeffery Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears Jay Cutler

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