Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press says that the Lions are looking at wide receivers. Why, with a Calvin Johnson on the field, are the Lions doing that? I think those who don’t see this as a need for the Bears should think carefully about the following quote from Lions general manager Martin Mayhew:
“Offensively, it’s a game of matchups. If our third receiver can be better than their third corner, if we have somebody who can stretch the field that can allow Calvin (Johnson) to catch some balls in a deeper area of the field than what he normally would catch them in … . He can make a big play if a guy can take the top off the defense and get safeties out of there and that kind of thing.”
The Bears game against New England, where they got absolutely slaughtered in what amounted to one half of football, taught me many things. But the biggest was the truth of Mayhews’ statement. The Bears didn’t have a third corner to match up with Wes Welker in the slot and he almost dsingle handedly beat them.
This means two thing. The most obvious is that the Bears have a need at corner. The less obvious in that they have a need at wide receiver. even the Lions, who have other needs along with maybe the best wide receiver in the league, think they need to look closely at wide receiver.
The Bears are average at wide receiver. There’s just no getting around it. Devin Hester is forever raw, Johnny Knox disappeared in big games where defensive backs got physical with him, and Earl Bennett is good for what he is, a big underneath possession guy.
The game is, indeed, one of matchups. I look at the Bears’ opponents and I don’t think their wide receivers matchup well with them one-on-one up and down the depth chart. And when you have a team that can dictate those matchups it becomes, ultimately, what the game is about. The Packers and the Patriots are that kind of team and the Lions are trying to become that kind of team. Without better wide receivers I’m not sure the Bears are ever going to be.