Jay Cutler Still Looking For No. 1 Target

Jerry Burnes@@JerryBurnesAnalyst IMay 14, 2009

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 28:  Devin Hester #23 of the Chicago Bears scores a 20-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against Asante Samuel #22 and Quintin Mikell #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on September 28, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Jay Cutler is still searching for his Brandon Marshall replacement in Chicago.

Cutler, who the Bears acquired from the Denver Broncos via trade on April 2, is entering a system which saw its running back become its leading receiver a year ago.

Last season Devin Hester led the Bears in yards (665), running back Matt Forte in receptions (64), and Greg Olsen in touchdowns (5). Bears wide receivers caught just nine touchdown passes last season, with Hester grabbing the most with three.

While the Bears made a major upgrade at signal caller, the need for a No. 1 target is still a pressing issue. The Cutler-Marshall combo connected for 104 receptions, 1,265 yards, and six touchdowns in 2008. Cutler's No. 2 man Eddie Royal, who matches Hester physically, grabbed 91 receptions for 980 yards and five touchdowns.

A quarterback can only be as good as his offensive line and receiving corps. If the Bears are unable to improve Hester very quickly the Cutler experiment will come under scrutiny.

The young No. 1 receiver, Anquan Boldin, is not available since the Bears used their draft picks on Cutler. Some time could be bought by chasing after Marvin Harrison. The aging Harrison can mentor the young Chicago squad and help mold Hester, Earl Bennett, and Juaquin Iglesias into a valuable and effective receiving corps.

While Chicago looks for a true No. 1, Cutler will have to work with what he has. The Bears don't have the worst corps in the league but it certainly needs some work.

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Improving at quarterback is one step forward, but for Cutler to find maximum success in the Windy City, he needs to find another Marshall to throw to.

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