Chicago Bears wide receivers coach Mike Furrey and the rest of the team’s assistant coaches met with the media Wednesday for the first time since the NFL Draft, and Furrey fielded questions about a number of things, including the status of wideout Anthony Miller. The Bears moved up in the 2018 Draft to snag Miller in the second round, but he has yet to turn into the dependable and consistent No. 2 they hoped he would.
Trade rumors swirled around Miller this offseason, particularly after his 2020 campaign ended the way it did. Miller was ejected from the Bears’ Wild Card matchup against the New Orleans Saints after punching defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. The entire offense had been warned to stay away from Gardner-Johnson, but Miller didn’t listen, and many thought he had played his last down with the Bears. Apparently, Miller is going to stick around, but Furrey made it clear he’s skating on paper-thin ice.
“Anthony’s been in our meetings,” Furrey said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “He’s growing up and he’s doing his job. He’s maturing, he’s understanding all the things that we’ve talked about for the last couple years. There’s a small increment in improvement, so he’s done great, he’s been in our rooms, no issues. He’s been alert, he’s been attentive and he’s doing what we’re asking him to do so it’s going to be fun.”
Then, Furrey promptly put the young wideout on notice.
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Furrey: ‘You Better Be on Your Details’
Immediately after talking about how mature Miller has seemed this offseason, Furrey said this:
I think the biggest thing is going to be need. I think when you do look at our room … the additions of Marquise (Goodwin) and Damiere (Boyd) and obviously Dazz (Newsome) … Jester Weah who’s a 6-2, 6-3, 200-pound wideout, you know some other guys that we’re adding to this room — it’s going to be fun to really see, there’s going to be some competition. And know it’s not going to be a need base, you know — we don’t need you. We’ve got guys that are going to be able to produce. You better be a pro, you better be on your details, you better do what we’re asking you to do.
Alrighty then. If that’s not putting Miller on notice by giving him a clear ‘We don’t need you’ message, I don’t know what is. Furrey then doubled down, saying Miller was going to have a lot to prove this coming season.
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Miller Has a Contract Year Coming Up
When astute members of Chicago sports media pointed out that Furrey had said the same things about Miller last year: that he had matured on and off the field, and was looking good throughout the offseason, Furrey made it known Miller had a lot more work to do and hasn’t proved anything yet.
“You know you’ve got to see it,” Furrey said. “There’s so much talk but at this level it’s all about what you show and what you put on film.”
This will be Miller’s fourth season with the Bears, and he’s in the final year of his rookie contract, so Chicago could be hoping he finally puts it all together in what will be a “prove it” year in a multitude of ways. If he does, he could be one of the most pleasant surprises of the 2021 season. If he doesn’t, he could wind up being released before the season starts.
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