Alshon Jeffery, the breakout member of the 2013 Chicago Bears offense, is not known as a big talker.
He plays a position known for big egos, big personalities and even bigger mouths. However, Jeffery is a quiet guy who just kind of goes about his business and keeps to himself.
It's kind of refreshing because since he was so productive he has never even given a hint of the diva wide receiver or being a "me-first" guy. He has worked behind the scenes, with his more established teammate Marshall, to get where he is and silence all of the doubt that was surrounding him when he was drafted in the second round of 2012.
Together with Marshall they have trained and motivated each other and quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Josh McCown were the beneficiaries last season, when the WR duo combined for 189 catches 2,716 yards and 19 touchdowns.
So last week, when Jeffery was interviewed by The Sporting News, he told Rana L. Cash:
I’m not the type of person that brags a lot about anything, but I feel that last year, what we did, we were at the top of the list as the two best receivers
He doesn't have to make an argument to Bears fans. But for many others, they might be fighting words. Josh Gordon led the league in receiving yards in just 14 games due to a suspension. Other receivers who have an argument to be the best can have holes picked in their games: Calvin Johnson had stability in his QB last season, while Marshall and Jeffery had McCown and Cutler. Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and Demaryius Thomas had both stability in quarterback and system.
Marshall and Jeffery had different QBs and were in the first year of their new system, but were still dominant. The two had 11 combined 100 yard receiving games, two 200 yard games, and three double-digit reception games.
So while there is certainly a debate, however you look at it, Marshall and Jeffery were among the two best receivers last year.
That is the headline, but to me it's not the full story. The rest of Jeffery's quote is even better:
But that was last year. This year we have to set our goal and try our best to do the same thing we did last year, if not better.
I love hearing a player, especially one as young as Jeffery, not being complacent. Jeffery just got his first taste of NFL success and isn't ready simply to take it easy. Seeing as motivation, whether real or perceived, was his biggest knock coming out of college it's nice to see that he understands what it takes to be successful, and isn't letting one 1,400 yard season mean he no longer has to work hard.
The other interesting piece from the article concerns Jeffery's nickname.
After his breakout season for the Bears in 2013, it feels like Jeffery should have an autonomous nickname and on the spot, he makes one up — "The Show."
"I feel like every time I try to catch the ball and make a play, I try to put on a show, so that’s what I would call myself," he told Sporting News.
The article also ponders if Jeffery is Optimus Prime to Johnson's Megatron.
The point is, Jeffery needs a nickname. While I like "The Show" he and Marshall together need a duo nickname. Marshall is known as "The Beast" or "The Machine" (which is where his Twitter profile name, Machine Marshall, comes from.). The Machine and The Show are pretty good, but surely WCG can do better.
What do you think about Jeffery and Marshall's place among the best in the NFL? And what's your best nickname for the two of them?