Judging from inherently deceiving training camp practices, there’s no doubt that rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery can do great things this season if the Bears can get the ball in his hands — or just near them.
”He’s got unbelievable hands — an unbelievable ability to catch the football,” wide receivers coach Darryl Drake said.
If NFL football was as simple as ”You run a down-and-out; You run a button-hook; you go deep” it would be all good for Jeffery. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to it than that. And that’s where even gifted receivers hit the wall as rookies. You still have to beat press coverage from defensive backs. And you still have to get open, which in most NFL offenses entails knowing not only what you are doing, but what every other receiver in your offense is doing.
One of the knocks on Jeffery before the draft was that he was a poor route runner who played in a simplified offense at South Carolina. But Drake doesn’t think that will be an issue.
”He’s a much better route runner than people realize,” Drake said. ”His route-running style is different, so people don’t see it. But he takes great angles.”
What’s so different about Jeffery’s route-running style?
”He’s a little herky-jerky at times,” Drake said. ”He’s big. He’s long. His running style is a little different than some guys. But I really, really like [what he does].”