As the Chicago Bears get ready to report to Halas Hall later this month for training camp, fourth-year wide receiver Anthony Miller will be one name under the microscope. Throughout his first three seasons, Miller has been inconsistent in terms of production, with multiple calls going against the former second-round pick in critical moments.
Analyzing the Bears’ depth at wide receiver, Miller will enter training camp later this month as WR3, behind veteran Allen Robinson and second-year WR Darnell Mooney. Besides Miller, Chicago has a number of intriguing options at slot WR that include Damiere Byrd and Marquise Goodwin.
Goodwin opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns but last played for the San Francisco 49ers from 2017-2019, where he totaled 91 receptions,1543 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns, averaging 17 yards per reception, showcasing top-notch speed and playmaking ability.
Byrd enters his sixth season, with his fourth different team. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound speedster started 14 games for the New England Patriots last season and 47 receptions, 604 receiving yards, and one touchdown, averaging 12.9 yards per reception.
The common theme between Goodwin and Byrd is that both are speedsters but neither have really been top-tier options for any quarterback. Miller must enter training camp later this month with the mindset that he’s the only WR on the roster and that he isn’t guaranteed a roster spot.
2020 wasn’t necessarily a defining year for Miller’s career but the emergence of Mooney did raise questions about how good Miller could be. In year three, Miller logged just six starts, the second-fewest of his career, and averaged just 9.9 yards per reception, the lowest mark of his career. After leading Chicago with seven receiving touchdowns as a rookie, Miller has just four total TDs over the last two years.
The hope is that consistent quarterback play can revive Miller’s career but the additions of Goodwin and Byrd make it clear that there are multiple players on Chicago’s roster that can be considered threats to Miller in what is a career-defining year for the former Memphis product.