Trestman insists Marshall not 'any kind of distraction'
Whatever it is that's frustrating wide receiver Brandon Marshall, he isn't distracting the team from its focus on winning -- at least according to Bears coach Marc Trestman.
"He's been great," Trestman said. "As far as meetings, on the field, he hasn't been any kind of distraction from my standpoint. The biggest difficulty I've had is seeing him work through a foot (injury) and work through the (post-surgical) hip during the OTAs."
Marshall's targets are down from last season, when he was tied for second in the NFL with 194. He has a team-high 47 this season, and is on pace for 150. He was targeted a season-low five times Sunday and had season lows of 4 catches and 30 yards.
"He was good on the sidelines (Sunday) in every way," Trestman said. "It was difficult when you're the playcaller, for him to not be as productive as he was, because we want him to be. Jay (Cutler) is just reading the coverages and going to the guys that are open."
Sunday that was Alshon Jeffery, who was targeted 13 times and caught 10 passes for a franchise-record 218 yards.
"We're all OK with it," Cutler said. "We're getting tired with talking about it; dealing with it. We're frustrated we're losing games. That's the biggest issue right now. Two-game slide, we've just got to fix that and have everything else fall in place."
Coming of age:
Alshon Jeffery's monster game vs. the Saints shot him past Brandon Marshall for the team lead in receiving yardage (429-378) and his 28 catches are just 3 less than Marshall.
"Now we're seeing on the field what we've seen in practice -- a guy whose hard work is starting to pay off for him," coach Marc Trestman said. "He's starting to play loose. He's comfortable. He's physical. All these things we saw -- and you saw him in training camp on the practice field -- and now we're seeing them come to fruition in games. Hopefully it will stay consistent throughout the year."
As a rookie last season, the 6-foot-3, 216-pound Jeffery flashed the skills that made him a second-round pick (50th overall), but nagging injuries impeded his progress. But after catching 24 passes for 367 yards as a rookie, he came back in the spring a different player.
"When we first got back and started OTAs, you could tell the difference in him," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "He was more confident. He was doing things on the practice field more consistently. You saw spurts of it last year. But this year it's an everyday thing. With Brandon being dinged up early (hip), he couldn't really go in OTAs and mini-camp. (So) we had Alshon get a lot of balls (thrown) his way and get comfortable in his position."
Because they play Thursday night, the Bears were obligated to issue an injury report based on what the participation of players would have been if they practiced on Monday.
Tight end Martellus Bennett (knee), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe), cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) and safety Anthony Walters (hamstring) were listed as "did not participate." Linebacker Lance Briggs (hip), offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod (calf) and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (ankle) were "limited," and wide receiver Joe Anderson (knee) and guard Eben Britton (foot) were "full participation."