Bears Jeffery quiet ... sometimes to a fault
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In the league-leading receiving-yardage duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, there's clearly one guy who's the mouthpiece and one who's the silent partner.
"Alshon is a quiet guy," said Marshall, who isn't. "But it's definitely a positive. He's a humble guy. He's not a high-maintenance player."
Marshall's 786 receiving yards are 51 more than the 2012 second-round pick from South Carolina, and Jeffery's average of 15.6 yards per catch tops the eight-year veteran's average of 13.1. Despite Jeffery's reticence, Marshall makes it a point to get his input.
"There's times when we're in the meeting room and it would be (receivers) coach (Mike) Groh, Alshon and I, and we're going over stuff," Marshall said. "Coach will talk and he'll give his assessment of the defensive backs, then I'll say something. Then, we're like, 'OK Alshon, what do you have?' and it's silence for like five minutes.
"We're like, 'Bro, you're smart. We need to hear your assessment. We want to know what you're thinking,' and he's like, 'I think they're good.' We're like, 'Can you please give us more? What are you thinking on your releases? What are you thinking on this particular route vs. this coverage?'"
Still, Jeffery is more talkative than he was last year as a rookie.
"He's starting to come out of his shell a little bit," Marshall said. "But it's not much; that's just who he is. He's one of the guys, he comes to the sidelines and talks about what he's seeing and particular plays he may like for me or Marty (Bennett) or for himself. So he's more involved."
Cold and flu season:
Marc Trestman and his staff are always on the lookout for players who have been performing exceptionally well but could be coming down with an affliction that the Bears' coach calls: "Success flu."
"When the H1N1 (virus) was going on and the flu bug hits, you get vaccinated so you don't get sick, right?" Trestman said with a smile. "So, what we try do in the times when we're having success and people are telling you how good we are, we vaccine these guys so they don't make it about themselves.
"They realize the reason we're having success is because of the work and endeavors of others. That's really the definition of humility, when you understand that it's not because you're doing it well, it's because all those people are putting you in a position to do well."
Trestman says the "inoculation" stabilizes players who might be tempted to develop an inflated opinion of themselves.
"When you start feeling that things are going your way or you're being given the credit," Trestman said, "we have some syringes available. We vaccinate them, and that stabilizes them to be more even-keeled and to recognize that these coaches and these players around them are the reason they're having this opportunity to execute at a high level on the field."
Linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) and quarterback Jay Cutler (ankle) remain out for Sunday and did not practice, but Cutler was wearing a hard cast and a walking boot to stabilize his injury.
Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle), defensive end Shea McClellin (hamstring), long-snapper Patrick Mannelly (calf) and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (groin) also did not practice. Bennett is the only one expected to play.
Offensive tackle Jordan Mills (quadriceps) was limited.
For the Ravens, four starters did not practice; cornerback Ladarius Webb (groin), defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (knee), defensive end Chris Canty (knee) and linebacker Daryl Smith (thigh). Three other starters were limited; cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin), linebacker Terrell Suggs (neck) and safety James Ihedigbo (toe).
Those in need:
The Bears 25th annual winter coat drive is underway and will continue through Dec. 15.
Coats can be donated at any of more than 180 Chicago-area Jewel-Osco stores. Those in need of coats can receive them at any Salvation Army location.
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