The ongoing development of WR Devin Hester — and the lack of a proven No. 1 wide receiver — has no doubt been a closely watched storyline throughout Chicago Bears training camp. For better or worse, the Bears are relying on Hester as the team’s top receiver, electing not to acquire a veteran presence during the offseason.
Jay Cutler was asked Thursday for his assessment of Hester after their first offseason and camp together.
“[Hester] is just a smarter receiver,” Cutler said. “He’s more groomed. He’s getting out of cuts. He understands defenses. He understands, I think, what it takes to be a receiver each and every day coming out here and working with me and getting on the same page. You can see it on the film.
“We’ve just got to keep heading in the right direction and working out every day and talking. You’ve got to have good communication. If something’s bothering him, if he doesn’t like it, he’s got to tell me.”
As the Bears sort out their depth chart at receiver behind Hester and fellow starter Earl Bennett, Cutler told reporters Thursday he’s excited to see the teams young recievers when the lights come on. In a more in-depth look, Larry Mayer of Chicagobears.com says Brandon Rideau, Devin Aromashodu will be competing with veteran Rashied Davis and rookies Juaquin Iglesias and Johnny Knox for three or four roster spots.
In his recent observations from Bears camp, NFL.com senior columnist Thomas George noted that Culter has insisted he has all he needs in the current receivers, but the group will still be watched very closely in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Bills.