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Bears’ 2019 position review: Receiver

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Bears’ 2019 position review: Receiver

In the process, Robinson became only the third receiver in Bears history with at least 95 catches and 1,100 yards in a season. Marty Booker was the first to do it in 2002, while Brandon Marshall accomplished the feat in 2012 and again in 2013.

“From the beginning [of the season], he was the constant,” coach Matt Nagy said of Robinson. “He was always the same every game. You could rely on him for big catches, wherever that was—red zone, third down, end of game, two-minute.”

Robinson had three 100-yard games in 2019, catching seven passes for 102 yards in the season opener against the Packers at Soldier Field, six passes for 131 yards and one touchdown Nov. 24 versus the Giants and seven passes for 125 yards in a rematch with the Packers Dec. 15 in Green Bay.

With at least one reception in all 16 games, Robinson has now caught a pass in all 72 NFL games he’s played with the Jaguars (2014-17) and Bears (2018-19).

Off the field, Robinson was named the Bears’ nominee for the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes players for outstanding community service activities as well as excellence on the field.

Robinson was also presented with the 2019 Bears Media Good Guy Award by the Chicago chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America, an honor that’s given annually to the player who is deemed most cooperative with the media.

Second-year receiver Anthony Miller, meanwhile, caught 52 passes for 656 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. The 2018 second-round pick heated up after a slow start. After being limited to 17 receptions for 218 yards in the first nine games of the season, Miller caught 33 passes for 431 yards and two touchdowns over a four-game span.

“He’s so physically talented,” said general manager Ryan Pace. “We talk about a player’s ability to separate from man coverage and what he can do in the slot. He’s so talented. I think he’s still a young player that’s still trying to learn the offense, gain trust with the quarterback.

“I just think as the season went on, he got more comfortable. His dedication to learning it in meetings, away from the facility, I think you felt that. When Anthony knows what he’s doing on offense, he plays so fast and he can be such a dynamic part of what we’re doing, and that’s important going forward. I think as the season went on, you just felt his comfort level improve and our trust in him improve.”

Unfortunately, it appears that Miller will have to undergo surgery on his left shoulder for the second straight offseason after getting hurt while returning a kickoff in the season finale against the Vikings. He is expected to return by the start of training camp.

“It’s unfortunate it happened, and you’ve just got to stay positive about it,” Nagy said. “We’ve got to make sure that we keep him mentally in it, and then when we get back to training camp, we pick up from there.

“I’m really proud of the way that he grew. He needs to continue to keep maturing on the field with some of the stuff—post-catch type deals. He’s been better at that. I think that his talent is there, and I love his energy. But we want him to keep growing as a player, especially on the field with being smart with that.”

Taylor Gabriel caught 29 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns, but the veteran receiver missed the final five games after suffering his second concussion of the season.

In a Week 3 win over the Redskins, Gabriel hauled in three TD passes from Mitchell Trubisky of 3, 1 and 36 yards on three consecutive possessions in a 6:17 span of the second quarter. In the process, Gabriel became the first Bears player to score three touchdowns in one period since Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers in 1965.

Second-year receiver Javon Wims caught 18 passes for 186 yards and one touchdown. With Gabriel sidelined, Wims started four of the Bears’ final five games, catching 11 passes for 105 yards in those four contests.

Veteran receiver Cordarrelle Patterson added 11 catches for 83 yards. He made a much bigger impact on special teams, earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors after finishing second in the NFL in kickoff returns with a 29.5-yard average while also excelling as a gunner on the punt-coverage team.

Rookie fourth-round pick Riley Ridley played only in the final five games of the season, catching six passes for 69 yards, including three receptions for 54 yards in the season finale in Minnesota.

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