After discussing two remaining options at wide receiver on Wednesday night in Plaxico Burress and Matt Jones, let's take a final look back on the wide receiver corps of 2008 and its production.
Matt Forte led all NFL running backs in receptions and Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen proved to be a solid combination in the passing game but the Bears struggled to get consistent production from their wideouts. The problem was more acute down the stretch when Kyle Orton was playing with an ankle injury. How much that factored in the lack of production by the wide receivers is anyone's guess. But five times over the final eight games the wide receivers combined for five receptions or less. What that means is the Bears were not having much success pushing the ball downfield and as offensive coordinator Ron Turner says, it's difficult to consistently mount 70- and 80-yard drives without big plays.
Week 10 Tennessee--5 receptions by wide receivers
Week 11 at Green Bay--4
Week 13 at Minnesota--5
Week 15 New Orleans--5
Week 16 Green Bay--3
Here is how the playing time broke down during the season followed by the statistics:
Rashied Davis 667 of 1,012 plays, 65.9 percent
Devin Hester 631 of 1,012 plays, 62.4 percent
Marty Booker 376 of 1,012 plays, 37.2 percent
Brandon Lloyd 376 of 1,012 plays, 37.2 percent
Earl Bennett 16 of 1,012 plays, 1.6 percent
Brandon Rideau 11 of 1,012 plays, 1.1 percent
Hester 51 catches, 665 yards, 5 TD
Davis 35 catches, 445 yards, 2 TD
Lloyd 26 catches, 364 yards, 2 TD
Booker 14 catches, 211 yards, 2 TD
Lloyd and Booker remain unsigned. The plan right now is for Bennett to start opposite Hester with Davis returning to the slot where he should be a more effective contributor. Of course, if general manager Jerry Angelo goes out and brings in another wide receiver, that will change everything and the club will not be relying so heavily on unproven players in Bennett and rookie Juaquin Iglesias.