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Will Wilson have bigger role in '14?

Posted Jan 17, 2014

Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses whether receiver Marquess Wilson could have an expanded role next season, where the Bears ranked on special teams in 2013 and how Alshon Jeffery stacks up statistically.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Marquess Wilson seems to have a lot of potential. I think that the Bears offense will dominate next year just by keeping the current players, and adding another receiver into the mix could be scary. Do the Bears plan on giving him a bigger role on offense next season?

Scott M.
Fort Bragg, North Carolina

I know the Bears were pleased with how Marquess Wilson performed in limited opportunities as a rookie in 2013 and I certainly wouldn't be surprised if his role expands next season. It's seems as if Jay Cutler trusts him; I remember Cutler throwing to Wilson on a key play in the fourth quarter of the season finale against the Packers, and Wilson responded by making a nice catch in traffic to pick up a first down. I'm sure another offseason in the weight room and on the practice field with the Bears will greatly benefit Wilson, who I understand will head to Florida in the next few months to work out with Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte.

I know the Bears didn't perform as well this year on special teams as they have in the past, but I haven't seen anything written about where they ranked statistically. So where did they finish?

Peter A.
Des Moines, Iowa

According to special teams rankings created by Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin, the Bears finished 23rd in the NFL on special teams in 2013. Gosselin ranks the league's 32 teams in 22 different special teams categories and assigns points according to their standing-one for the best down to 32 for the worst. By the way, the Bears led the NFL in kickoff coverage, allowing only 18.7 yards per return, and ranked last in the league in gross punting at 40.0 yards.

Has any Bears player ever caught more passes in his first two NFL seasons than Alshon Jeffery?

Fred S.
Des Plaines, Illinois

Alshon Jeffery has caught 113 passes since joining the Bears in 2012 as a second-round draft pick from South Carolina. The only Bears player with more receptions in his first two seasons in the NFL is Mike Ditka, who had 114 in 1961-62. Jeffery's 1,421 yards are third behind Ditka (1,980) and Harlon Hill (1,913) in terms of a Bears receiver in his first two years in the league.

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