We’re heading into the dog days of the offseason, counting the days until the Chicago Bears 2014 season kicks off. Thanks to Bear Goggles On contributor and the fine editor of Blackhawk Up Keith Schultz’s suggestion, we’re going to do a Top 100 list of the all time Chicago Bears. It’s a fun way to pass the time and take a stroll down memory lane.
Marcus Robinson was a 4th round pick by the Bears in 1998 out of South Carolina. The Bears had speedy Curtis Conway and possession receiver Bobby Engram as their starters, but had very little size at the receiver position. It took Robinson about a year to adjust to life in the NFL, he only had 4 catches for 44 yards and a TD as a rookie. Robinson only saw the field in 3 games as a rookie, but had a strong preseason in ’99 and started the season as the Bears #3 WR. When Curtis Conway went down with injury, Robinson moved into the starting lineup and was unstoppable. In Robinson’s second year he led the Bears in receptions, yards and TDs with 84 catches for 1400 yards and 9 TDs. He finished 9th in the NFL in receptions, 4th in yards, and tied for 4th in TDs; It was one of the best years ever by a Bears receiver (pre B-Marsh).
Unfortunately, that was the best year of Robinson’s career. He missed 5 games with injury the next year (’00) but still put up 55 catches for 738 yards and 5 TDs in another bad year for the Bears (5-11). In his 2nd and 3rd season it seemed the only thing that could stop Robinson was the Bears QBs. Who knows what kind of numbers he would have put up with a decent QB? Robinson’s combo of size, speed and hands was unstoppable for those two seasons, but unfortunately Shane Matthews, who could barely throw the ball 30 yards, and Cade McNown, who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, took most of the snaps those two seasons. In the 5 games Jim Miller started in those two season you could see glimpses of what Robinson could be with a legitimate NFL QB.
Robinson got hurt again in 2001 and only started 4 games and then didn’t look like the same player when he came back in 2002. The Bears let Robinson go before the 2003 season and he was picked up by the Ravens. Robinson had a decent season with the Ravens (31, 451, 6) but he had one 4 TD game that showed a glimpse of what M-Rob was capable of. Despite a productive season, the Ravens let Robinson go in free agency and he was picked up by the Vikings.
Robinson spent three seasons with the Vikings, much to Bear fans dismay, and he led the Vikings in receiving for three consecutive seasons (107, 1553, 17). There was some controversy over comments Robinson made to the press about the Vikings coaching staff in the 2006 off-season and he was released shortly after. Robinson failed to catch on with a new team and retired before the ’07 season.
Marcus Robinson only played 5 seasons with the Bears, but he was the most talented weapon they had while on the team. His ’99 season was one of the best by any receiver in Bears history, but he was ultimately handcuffed by injuries and bad QB play. In his 5 years with the Bears, Robinson finished with 187 receptions, 2695 yards, and 20 TDs.
What do you think of the ranking? Too high? Too low? I guess you’ll have to check back to see who finished ahead of him to judge for yourself. We’ll be counting down a different person each day as we inch our way to the September 7th season opener.