by Brad Biggs
July 14, 02011
For the longest time, Chicago Bears fans have longed for that big wide receiver who can stretch the field vertically and still go over the middle and make the tough receptions.
The Bears’ history at the position has been about as barren as it’s been at quarterback. Consider that since 1972, the team’s only Pro Bowl wide receiver was Marty Booker in 2002. That’s some kind of drought.
Those still seeking the big wide receiver are going to be disappointed in the latest explanation from offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who has a collection of 6-foot and under targets right now. When Martz directed the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis, he did it with smaller receivers and the only big receiver that really jumps out who played for Martz during the last 11 years was Calvin Johnson in Detroit. Johnson was obviously drafted by ex-general manager Matt Millen.
“Size doesn't make any difference," Martz told the Associated Press. "It makes absolutely no difference. With Matt (Forte) as a runner and our ability to run the ball, we get a lot of one-on-one coverage, and you have to have receivers that can beat corners one on one. And generally, the guys that can change direction and run fast -- those are the kinds of guys that you're looking for. If he's a big guy that can do all that, that's a rare find. A lot of times, those guys are more 5-10 guys.”
While that doesn’t rule out the Bears from pursuing Sidney Rice, Malcom Floyd or Plaxico Burress, Martz isn’t banging he drum for a big target. He’s banged the drum before, too, if you recall him pining for a veteran backup quarterback last summer.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune