BEARS INSIDER

Bears' Anthony Miller 'on that cusp' of breaking out

BEARS INSIDER

If you want to read some good news about a Bears wide receiver on Tuesday – as opposed to this, and this – start with what Bears wide receiver coach Mike Furrey said about Anthony Miller after Sunday’s 27-23 win over the Detroit Lions.

“I think we all know the potential of Anthony Miller,” wide receivers coach Mike Furrey said. “I think we’re just on that cusp now of really seeing his evolvement of what he’ll really end up becoming.”

We do all know the potential of Anthony Miller: He’s been pegged as a guy with 1,000-yard upside ever since the Bears drafted him in 2018. If he averages 76 yards per game – his receiving total Sunday – he’d finish 2020 with 1,216 yards.

But Week 1 was just one game against a bad defense missing three of its top cornerbacks. Miller won’t be able to match up against Tony McRae – who he beat for the game-winning touchdown – every week. So where does Miller, and the Bears’ offense, go from here?

The confidence Miller took from Sunday’s game should carry over – as should the trust Mitch Trubisky has in him to go make plays. Miller and Trubisky were not always on the same page in 2019, for what it’s worth.

But a sneaky part of Miller’s strong 2020 debut is how Furrey believes it’ll help Allen Robinson (and not in an #ExtendAR way).

 

Furrey pointed to the Lions doubling Robinson on occasion on Sunday, forcing Trubisky away from targeting his 1,100-yard, possibly-soon-to-be-free-agent receiver. But when defenses commit to not letting Robinson beat them, the Bears’ other receivers have to make that strategy backfire. Miller – along with, at times, Darnell Mooney and Javon Wims – did just that.

“(Miller’s) really evolving into that all-around player, that possession speed guy, can flip-the-field type of guy, guy that you can trust,” Furrey said. “That’s not just beneficial for our team, but that’s beneficial for our room and Allen Robinson.

"I think this is what Allen’s been looking forward to, and I know Allen and him have gotten closer and closer. There’s been a lot more respect between the two. And that’s more of A-Mill really watching Allen and learning from Allen. Now, it’s helping our room out.”

At the very least, the New York Giants will have to respect Miller this coming weekend – probably to the point where they can’t over-allocate resources into stopping Robinson, who by the way still had a productive five catches for 74 yards against the Lions.

And if Miller keeps this up all season and doesn’t disappear for stretches, as he did in 2018 and 2019? Maybe, just maybe, you can see a glimmer of long-term hope for the Bears’ ability to be better than just “fine” offensively in 2020.

“(Robinson’s) going to be able to say these guys can’t double me because if you double me you’re not going to have enough depth on your depth chart to be able to handle the other guys in our room,” Furrey said. “And that’s our job and something we kind of exposed yesterday obviously with A-Mill.”

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