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Bears' receiving corps garners strong reviews

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted May 27, 2010 @ 10:01 a.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Rumors that the Bears might be considering adding Terrell Owens couldn't be more exaggerated, as new offensive coordinator Mike Martz continues to stick to his eyebrow-raising claim that the Bears' receiver corps is "the strength of the team."

"You can put that in granite. I can promise you that one," Martz told the Chicago Tribune the first week of May. "There's not very many things I would say are unretractable, but that one is pretty strong.

"That's a terrific group."

Sources on the scene at the Bears' late-May minicamp agreed that the Bears' pass-catching corps probably offered the biggest highlight.

"They do look good," one team insider said. "(Devin) Hester and (Johnny) Knox appear to be the starters for now, but there will definitely be a big role for (Devin) Aromashodu. Earl Bennett, who is not yet back to full speed following knee surgery, could slip to the No. 4 role.

"But in this offense, all four receivers should have a chance to put together some good numbers."

Word is there's a good possibility six wideouts could survive the final roster cut, with plucky veteran Rashied Davis, who has developed a knack for surviving roster cuts, and 2009 third-round draft pick Juaquin Iglesias, who is currently considered the No. 6 receiver by most observers, on the outside looking in.

Shortly after his hiring, Martz gushed over the prospect of Hester excelling in a slot role similar to former Rams "Greatest Show on Turf" contributor Az-Zahir Hakim.

Up to now, though, Hester has lined up solely at the "Z" flanker spot, with Knox working solely as the "X" receiver.

The ultimate X-factor could be Aromashodu, who came on so strong the final four games last season after finally being given an opportunity to strut his stuff.

In the best-case scenario, Martz said he would like to have at least two receivers capable of playing all three WR positions — "Z", "X" and slot.
 
Aromashodu, who became Jay Cutler's favorite target down the stretch in '09, is the best bet to become Martz's key chess piece in an offense that, at the very least, will be very different from last year's unit.

Bennett, the unit's most consistent performer, also figures to play an increasingly versatile role in the offense.

 

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