LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Offseason programs serve as a tool for players to make favorable impressions on coaches.
The latest example is wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who is entering the final year of his contract after catching 85 balls for 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014.
New Chicago Bears head coach John Fox was familiar with Jeffery's physical traits before taking the job, but the Bears coach never knew how seriously Jeffery worked at his craft until the offseason program began in April.
"He's very gifted, no doubt," Fox said at OTAs. "He's got a great catch radius. He's got a good knack for the game. I think the thing that probably I didn't know before getting here was how hard he works at it. He's done everything we've asked. He's had a tremendous offseason thus far."
Jeffery entered the offseason determined to prove the Bears he is a legitimate No. 1 NFL wide receiver. The 6-foot-3 wideout has 2,921 receiving yards since Chicago selected him in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the second most receiving yards by a Bears player in their first three NFL seasons.
Jeffery is fifth in the league in receiving yards (2,554) and tied for ninth in 100-yard games (eight) since 2013.
Despite the arrival of 2015 first-round pick Kevin White, Jeffery is expected to be the club's top target in the receiving game to begin the year.