Bears GM after drafting receivers: 'Devin's role has not changed'

The Chicago Bears have had a busy offseason to this point, adding 15 players in free agency and then drafting six over the weekend.

Four of those newcomers are wide receivers making it clear general manager Phil Emery is intent on overhauling a position that has long underachieved for the Bears. The Bears traded for Brandon Marshall, picked up Eric Weeks and Devin Thomas in free agency and then traded up in the second round to select South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery on Friday night.

Not to be forgotten is Devin Hester, a man Emery says the Bears are crafting quite a plan for under new offensive coordinator Mike Tice.

“Devin’s role has not changed,” Emery said. “We see him as a guy that is going to help our receiving corps in a big way. I know that Coach Tice has done a lot of planning. We want to make sure that we have a special plan for Devin, we have the Devin Package, a package of plays as a receiver. You never know where he is going to line up and I don’t want to get too far ahead of that in terms of telling other people what we’re going to do with him.

“But we will have a package of plays that we feel can bring his dynamic ability to the forefront and not only as carrying or catching the ball but sometimes that is a decoy. Devin’s speed vertically is something that has to be accounted for so if that pulls people from coverage to handle that vertical ball we’ve got some awfully big targets.”

Don’t look for Hester to go the Muhsin Muhammad route and have a jersey with the name D-Coy on the back any time soon. The Bears want to maximize Hester and they want to do so in the open field.

What is also interesting is several newcomers, including Weeks and Thomas, has experience as return men. So does Greg McCoy, the cornerback, a seventh-round pick from TCU.

“Yeah, we like those guys with returning skills because you never know how injury situations are going to occur,” Emery said. “Guys get on hot streaks and sometimes they get on cold streaks and it’s good to have other options out there.”

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