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Marshall benefiting from facing Tillman

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 29, 2012 – 1:47 pm

Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake isn’t the only one helping Brandon Marshall become a better player.

“He’s competing against one of the best corners in the NFL in Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman, and Peanut is making him work,” Drake said. “It’s only going to make him better as time goes on. I’m very excited about what Peanut’s doing to get Brandon ready.

“Brandon welcomes that challenge and understands and knows that it’s only going to get him better. The thing that I don’t want him to do is get frustrated because Peanut’s going to win some of those battles. I expect [Marshall] to win every battle, but at the same time I have a lot of respect for [Tillman].”

Drake also has a lot of respect for receiver Earl Bennett, who is often overshadowed by Marshall and Devin Hester despite consistently making plays, especially in key third-down situations.

“He’s underappreciated by a lot of people because he’s very consistent,” Drake said. “He does what everybody wants him to do, but I don’t think he will get overlooked in this offense. He’s an integral part, a big part because he does all the subtle things, all the little things. He does all those things right.

“The quarterback has a great rapport with him. He knows where he’s going to be, and the thing about it is Earl’s going to make the play.”

Rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery, a 6-3, 216-pounder, has also made plays early in training camp. Drake especially likes the second-round pick’s size, hands and ability to get in and out of breaks.

“As he learns to use his body and body up people and do those things, he’s only going to get better,” Drake said. “But I do like his ability to catch the football and his ability to run routes. He’s gotten so much better and you still seethe improvement that he’s made since Day 1.”

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