The Bears Don't Need a Number 1 Wide Receiver

First thing's first: Define need. To me - and the Oxford American Dictionary - a need refers to something that is 'required' in order to accomplish a goal. For example, "I need water to survive." So, I suppose, before we even have this conversation, we must determine what the Bears actually need. And that, is to win football games; Nothing more, nothing less.


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Now, I admit, while it would be great to have a number one wide receiver - well - now we're talking about luxury. After all, it would be great if I had a Ferrari. But, my Jeep gets me around just fine.

At 6-3, it's hard to say the Bears aren't accomplishing their goal of winning football games. With Johnny Knox on pace for nearly 1,100 yards this season - something that hasn't been done in a Bear uniform in 10 years - it's hard to argue there's an issue at the position.

It's also hard to pass Knox's numbers off solely on Martz's system. Typically, 1000+ yard receivers are a product of pass-first offenses. But, even taking that out of the equation, and probably far more interesting, is the fact that in the Bears' last two games alone, Knox's average would put him on pace for 1,112 yards. In those last two games, the Bears ran and average of about 45% run, 55% pass.

The other thing to consider is the wealth of players the Bears can throw the football to. Greg Olsen, who led the team in receptions last season, is a target; Both Matt Forte and Chester Taylor are receiving threats out of the backfield; Devin Hester is a game-changing play-maker; Earl Bennett is the most fundamentally sound receiver on the team; Devin Aromashodu - while he does have some issues - has been known to be explosive. The list goes on.

Not only is Knox on pace for over 1,000 receiving yards, but he and Cutler are doing it behind the worst offensive line in the NFL. While they have certainly improved over the last few games, we haven't seen the last of teams exposing their weaknesses. I promise you that.

Let's also talk about the fact that there are three phases to the game of football. And the Bears consistently play two of them exceptionally well. In Sunday's game against the Vikings, STC Dave Toub made an excellent decision to use Devin Hester on kickoff returns, as well as punt returns. One beat reporter - and NOT a Bears one - put it this way after the game, "crazy people kick to Devin Hester." Hester, by doing nothing other than standing on the opposite side of the field, gives his offense some of the best field position in the league. And we all know the Bears defense has kept them in nearly every game they've played this season.

Super Bowl teams are not built overnight. The Bears - for all intents and purposes - were built overnight. But, they are catching fire at the right time. They appear to have successfully exercised some of their demons early on and are playing much better football. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting this Bears team is the second coming of the Monsters of the Midway as they might suggest. But, do they truly "need" a "number one" wide receiver? Not by a long shot.

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