Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad famously said that Chicago is where wide receivers go to die. While from a statistical standpoint, it's hard to argue with his negative thoughts on Chicago's wide out history, I think much of that is attributed to the Bears struggling to find consistency at the quarterback position.
There have been some talented receivers to come through Chicago, which leads us to today's question in our 30 Day Challenge...
Day 3: Who is your all time favorite Chicago Bears wide receiver?
My favorite Chicago wide out only had two huge seasons as a Bear, but I always thought Marty Booker was capable of much more on the football field. He had great hands, he was a solid route runner and even though he wasn't the biggest guy (6', 212) he played the game with a toughness.
Booker was picked in the 3rd round of the 1999 draft, the same class that Chicago selected quarterback Cade McNown at 12th over all. I wonder how Booker's Chicago career would have been altered had the Bears been able to find a player to stabilize the QB position back then?
As a rookie Booker caught passes from McNown, Jim Miller and Shane Matthews. His 2nd season was spent with that trifecta of mediocrity as well. In 2001 Booker again caught passes from Miller and Matthews, but he broke Johnny Morris' season reception record when he hauled in 100 balls. (I took a closer look at Booker's 2001 season right here, Greatest Chicago Bears Seasons: Marty Booker 2001.) Booker's reception record stood until 2012 when Brandon Marshall nabbed 118 passes.
The following season the Bears played 4 QBs: Miller, 37 year old Chris Chandler, the Canadian Football League's Henry Burris, and even little-known Corey Sauter. Booker still had 97 receptions, but that was the last of his outstanding 2 year run. In 2003 Booker had 52 catches when he was saddled with Chandler, Kordell Stewart, and a rookie by the name of Rex Grossman.
The Bears traded Booker to the Dolphins following that year for defensive end Adewale Ogunleye.
Marty Booker only caught 329 balls in his two stints as a Bear (1999 - 2003 & 2008), but that's good enough to be tied for 4th all time. His 3,895 receiving yards is 6th all time, and he's tied for 9th in TD receptions with 25.
Booker also holds a 113.1 passer rating because 2 of his 7 passing attempts went for TDs.
And of course any mention of Marty Booker has to have this video...
Now it's your turn. Who is your favorite Chicago wide out of all time?
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