| Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears
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|Draft: 2008 Round 2 (11)
College: Virginia Tech
Ht: 5’10” Wt: 185 DOB: 1986-05-21 Age: 29
|If there was ever a player whose fortunes were solely tied to that of a head coach and his system, Eddie Royal is that player. Royal was a revelation as a rookie in 2009 playing in Mike Shanahanís offense, notching 91 receptions for 980 yards and five touchdowns. Shanahan was fired following that year and Royalís production fell off a cliff. The former second round pick caught 115 passes for 1,127 yards and four touchdowns over the following three seasons and is coming off a 19-reception, 155-yard, one-touchdown campaign. Finally free of his rookie contract, Royal had a chance to rejoin Shanahan in Washington where he would have been the teamís top slot receiver but instead chose to join in San Diego where he will compete with 2011 3rd round pick Vincent Brown. Since coaches generally like their slot receivers to catch more than 38.8% of their targets (Royalís receptions to targets ratio last season), look for Brown to win that battle. I said it last year and Iíll say it again this year. Donít go thinking Royal is ready to recreate his rookie magic because it ainít gonna happen.
|Royal, Cutler working to rekindle chemistry -- Mon Jun 22 6:00 pm --|
Pair worked together in Denver in 2008
|The Bears got rid of a frequent Jay Cutler target this offseason when they traded WR Brandon Marshall to the Jets, but Cutler hasnít been left without any ties to his days in Denver. Eddie Royal signed with the team as a free agent, which reunites him with the man who was the quarterback during his rookie year with the Broncos in 2008. Royal got off to a fast start in his first year, catching 91 passes for 980 yards and five touchdowns. It was the only year that the two men worked together, but both remember it fondly and Royal says theyíre putting in the same work now that they did then to build the same chemistry. (Pro Football Talk)|
FF Today's Take: As PFT states, Royal isn't going to match his rookie-year production with Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte and first-rounder Kevin White also on hand. However, one has to believe new HC John Fox and OC Adam Gase will be emphasizing more high-percentage throws from Cutler. To that end, NFL Media's Albert Breer tweeted the Bears "have big plans" for Royal.
|Royal impressing Bears with grasp of the offense -- Mon Jun 15 4:40 pm --|
Ex-Charger, Bronco has 10 red-zone TDs over last two seasons
|Eddie Royal's resurgence over the past two seasons and his early grasp of the Bears' new offense has him in great position to play a prominent role right away. The staff seemed excited about him when (ESPN's Mike Sando) visited Bears camp earlier in the offseason. Royal has 10 red zone touchdowns over the past two seasons, tied for ninth in the league among wide receivers. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: New OC Adam Gase was the Broncos' WR coach during the second and third year of Royal's four-year stay in Denver, so his quick assimilation of the playbook should not be a surprise. Royal doesn't figure to be more than a slot receiver in Chicago, but rookie Kevin White is raw and may have some growing pains before realizing his potential. Royal was quite proficient as a red-zone receiver and has worked with Jay Cutler before, so another high-score season (eight in 2013, seven in 2014) cannot be ruled out.
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