If you follow me on twitter, you’re well aware that the Chicago Bears drafting Alshon Jeffery made me more excited than I can even properly articulate. As a lifelong Bears fan and a loyal Gamecocks fan, getting to see one of South Carolina’s best players ever come to my hometown is amazing. I CANNOT WAIT to go to a game and see him.
Ever since the draft, though, people have asked me what we can expect from Alshon. Will he be focused and hard-working? Can he replicate the success he had in his sophomore season at USC? Will he keep his weight under control? How lucky were we to get him?
I always said I was confident that he’d have it all together and make me proud. Luckily, Alshon has proved me completely right.
The Bears LOVE Alshon. Not a day goes by that he’s not mentioned, either on the news, in an article in the paper, or on social media. It’s AWESOME. I’d obviously be glad that Alshon had found success anywhere, but the fact that it’s with my hometown team is even better.
The team kicked off their preseason games last Thursday against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Chicago didn’t do so well, losing 31-3 (although guys like Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher didn’t see any playing time), but Alshon made it clear that he’s going to have a serious impact this season.
The announcers and the camera focused on Alshon frequently, even when he was just standing on the sideline. Bears coach Lovie Smith said Alshon was one of the few players they were impressed with after Thursday’s loss, and Smith, along with Alshon’s other coaches and teammates, have praised his work ethic, commitment, and skill level since practice started, one fellow player even comparing him to Brandon Marshall (who is, of course, also a Bear).
Of course, the preseason doesn’t really mean that much. Like I said, a lot of the big-name guys don’t even see the field, and there’s no way to predict how things will go once the games actually count. That being said, it’s at least a good sign that Alshon has seen solid success and become a guy that the Bears – and us fans – can be proud of.
As I watched last week’s preseason game in a bar with some of my friends, I was probably obnoxiously excited about Alshon. “They probably got tired of me shouting, “HE WENT TO USC YOU GUYS! HE’S A GAMECOCKS AND HE’S AWESOME!”, but as the game wrapped up and we headed out, it was clear that Alshon’s play was doing more than my proclamations ever could to convince people. He ended up as the leading receiver in that game, which will earn him more playing time and reps with the first team in practice (he worked with them this weekend).
The next chance for us to see what he can do will come Saturday, when the Bears take on Heisman winner RGIII and the Washington Redskins. I’d expect Alshon to see plenty of playing time, especially given how pleased the organization is with his performance so far.
There’s no way to know how Alshon’s rookie season will turn out, but it’s clear that he’s on the right track. As a Gamecocks and lifelong Bears fan, this is beyond exciting. Bear Down, Alshon.
Oh, and I’d really like his jersey, so if one of you wants to get on that, that’d be great.