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Receivers try to make most of opportunities

Brandon Marshall has established himself as the clear No. 1 receiver for the Bears this season.
Brandon Marshall has established himself as the clear No. 1 receiver for the Bears this season.

LAKE FOREST – If you believe Alshon Jeffery, no one in the Bears’ locker room is keeping track of their individual snaps or catches or receiving yards.

Those numbers mean nothing compared with the greater goal.

“It doesn’t matter,” Jeffery said. “It’s a group effort. The only thing we’re counting is wins. We’re trying to get to the Super Bowl, however many wins it takes.”

A few more receptions this week against the St. Louis Rams might help the cause.

After going more than a few seasons with an inconsistent group of wide receivers – Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Roy Williams all tried and failed as the No. 1 target – the Bears finally appear to have established a hierarchy at the position.

Brandon Marshall is the No. 1 receiver. Jeffery is No. 2.

That leaves Earl Bennett and Devin Hester as third and fourth on the depth chart. Bennett has five receptions for 71 yards in the first two games against Indianapolis and Green Bay, while Hester has two catches for 27 yards.

Bennett shrugged at the group’s division of labor so far this season.

“Me, personally, I don’t go into games wondering, ‘Am I going to get the ball? How many times am I going to catch it?’ ” Bennett said Friday after practice. “I just go in and play the game. If it comes, it comes. If not, at least we win the game.”

Whether that attitude holds true for Hester is another question.

Before the season, Hester told a group of reporters that one of his individual goals this season was to catch 10 touchdown passes. He defended the statement as being realistic after one of the reporters raised her eyebrows at the double-digit goal.

However, at this rate, Hester will not have 10 catches of any kind until November.

Hester did not appear at his locker during Friday’s media availability, which left others to speak in his place.

Bears wide receivers coach Darryl Drake said Hester was staying patient.

“We’re just going to continue to do what we do,” Drake said. “He and Alshon both are going to play, and we’ll just see where that takes us. But he’s doing fine.”

The Bears continued to seek ways to include Hester in the offense, Drake said.

“It’s just a matter of we don’t know what’s going to happen during the course of a game,” Drake said. “We go in with a plan – sometimes those plans are determined by what happens to us defensively – but we have a plan for him every week. And then you have to adjust depending on what’s happening in the game.

“We’ve had two games. We’ve got 14 more to go. We’ll see what happens.”

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