Chicago Bears: Time to take some snaps away from Anthony Miller?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

What is going on with the Chicago Bears’ talented wide receiver?

Two years ago, the Chicago Bears traded up in the NFL Draft to select Anthony Miller, an incredibly talented wide receiver out of Memphis. His selection was filled with excitement and optimism, most notably because of his highly touted route-running abilities as well as his mental toughness.

At the time, he seemed like the perfect No. 2 wide receiver to pair with the team’s young quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, as well as their recently signed free agent, Allen Robinson. With a legitimate No. 1 receiver in the fold to occupy the attention of the defensive backfield, it felt like a golden opportunity for Miller to develop into a consistent and legitimate threat.

To date, that has not happened. Full disclosure, I have always been and frankly, continue to be a big Anthony Miller fan. He is so talented that it’s hard to just “give up” on that type of talent. With that said, it is time the team seriously consider reducing his snaps and giving those opportunities to either Javon Wims or Riley Ridley.

Through the first four weeks, his snap count percentages are 42, 40, 57, and 69 respectively. In those games, he has been targeted 19 times with only 9 catches. He’s had two terrific catches, each a game-winner against the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons. Each catch felt like it could be the turning point, where Miller started to play more consistently.

Unfortunately, that has not come to fruition. The inconsistencies are maddening. Too many catchable passes destined for Miller, even if not characterized as drops, have fallen incomplete. Head coach Matt Nagy has also repeatedly questioned his route running as not being as precise as it needs to be.

It has led to a feeling that the Bears might be getting frustrated with Miller and his inability to unlock his potential. Regardless, the team has to explore other options. After more than two seasons, this might be who he is, and if so, they need more consistency from the No. 2 wide receiver position.

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Consequently, the team should turn to Wims, who has proven to be a terrific blocker and adept pass catcher, or Ridley, who has mysteriously been relegated to the sidelines for most of his young career. The Bears, at one point, thought highly enough to spend a fourth-round pick on him. Maybe it’s time to see what’s there. Or maybe they already know. Either way, the point is someone else should get a chance to prove they can be a more consistent No. 2 option than Miller.