Alshon Jeffery is leading the Bears’ drills at receiver now. He’s the new No. 1 after Brandon Marshall was traded to the New York Jets.
And it was a move that caught Jeffery off guard.
“Man, I was surprised just like everyone else, but at the end of the day, we understand it’s a business,” Jeffery said during the Bears’ voluntary minicamp this week at Halas Hall. “I can’t speak on it. I just understand it’s a business. It’s something you have to ask him about. I was just as surprised as everyone else.”
Jeffery learned under Marshall for three seasons and they become close off the field. In 2013, they were the league’s best receiving duo as Jeffery broke out with 89 catches, 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns. Both players went to the Pro Bowl that season.
Jeffery said he’ll miss Marshall.
“It’s a little different not seeing him in the locker room and being out here just clowning around and joking,” said Jeffery, while shaking his head. “But I mean every year is a new year. So we got to … I don’t even know what to say.
“Every year I’ve been here, he’s been here. It’s kind of strange and kind of different. As the season comes along I guess it will wear on me him not being here. Man, I don’t even know.”
Jeffery, meanwhile, does have a new contract to earn from the Bears’ new brass. It’s important to him to take part in all voluntary activities despite being in the final year of his rookie contract.
“It’s important just to be here with my teammates,” Jeffery said. “Football is fun for me. I mean it’s something I grew up doing as a kid. It’s just fun just being here with my teammates. As far as my final year here, that will take care of itself. I’m just out here trying to learn the system. My main goal is to win a Super Bowl.”