Chicago Bears: Top candidates for regression in 2019

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Taylor Gabriel
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Wide Receiver Taylor Gabriel

Quick, answer this question: Who led the Bears in receptions last season?

Nope, it wasn’t Allen Robinson. It wasn’t Anthony Miller, nor Trey Burton. And no, it wasn’t even Taylor Gabriel.

Running back Tarik Cohen led the Bears with 71 receptions in 2018, believe it or not. However, coming in second was Gabriel with 67, who led all wide receivers and tight ends in grabs.

I am a big fan of Gabriel and think he was one of the most perfect signings for any team last year. With what head coach Matt Nagy aimed to implement, offensively, Gabriel was an ideal fit and had a fantastic season in 2018.

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But, here’s the problem: The Bears added two more weapons this offseason in rookie Riley Ridley and veteran Cordarrelle Patterson. In addition, Miller wasn’t healthy for the majority of his rookie year. The same can be said for Robinson, who dealt with an injury last season and missed a couple of games.

With Robinson and (hopefully) Miller healthy, Gabriel’s target share will slide down a bit. Ridley should play, too, since he was the Bears’ second pick in this year’s draft and is a talented player. The targets simply won’t be there for Gabriel to have another 67-catch campaign.