A few days ago on ChicagoBears.com, there was an article praising one of the least admired players on the Bears roster, wide receiver Rashied Davis. According to the article, Davis has shown tremendous catching ability and has stood out among a group of more well known pass catchers.
We have heard this story before, however. Last season, after the Jay Cutler trade, much focus was given on who will catch the ball from Cutler. In early ’09 OTA news, Bears receivers coach Daryl Drake could not stop talking about Davis; his great work ethic, toughness and ability to learn.
Davis finished the ’09 season with four catches for 30 yards and zero touchdowns.
So, is this year the same fluffy hype?There are still some questions at receiver, but it seems that the top five players at the position may be set (#23, #13, #19, #80, and #17?). Factor in rookie hopeful Freddie Barnes and pass catching tight end Greg Olsen, and it seems there are just not enough balls to go around to a sixth, seventh or even eighth receiver. Even in a Mike Martz run offense.
Davis started his NFL career on the defensive side of the ball, coming to Chicago as a defensive back. Prior to that, he played four outstanding seasons in the Arena Football League for the San Jose Saber Cats. He earned the team’s MVP and Offensive Player of the Year award in his final AFL season of 2005.
He has spent much of his Bears career on special teams. Either running back kicks or as a gunner on kick coverage, Davis has shown his value to the team as a third phase player.
Moving to receiver in ’06, Davis has shown some flashes as a receiver. Most notably is his late game catch at the Atlanta Falcons in 2008 that gave the Bears the lead with only 11 seconds left in the game. Let’s just remember that memory, and not the last eleven seconds.
The knock on him has been his tendency to drop passes. The Bears have been a little thin at receiver since making the Super Bowl, thus Davis was given his chance to make his move from special teams standout, to starting receiver. Unfortunately, he could not take full advantage of his opportunity.
Rashied is the type of guy you want to root for. He’s smaller than most players at his position; he’s not as fast or strong. He has proven that with hard work and determination even the underdog can make it in this league.
But for some reason I am not convinced. The Bears seem to be in a good place at receiver and if they feel the need to, they can pick up a proven veteran (T.O, Coles or Curtis). So I ask, is the article on the Bears website just a ploy to make Davis look better than he is so that we can get some trade value for him? Or, is he really stepping up his game and will force a young receiver to take a back seat at least for the near future?