Could Josh Bellamy Be Ready for a Breakout Year?

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Could Josh Bellamy Be Ready for a Breakout Year?

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears (wisely) felt it necessary to overhaul their receiving corps this past offseason, in order to get the most out of Mitch Trubisky and that arm of his. And much to the surprise of many – justifiable or not – GM Ryan Pace did so rather successfully (Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton, and Anthony Miller).

But the new additions aren’t the only receivers to discuss. Josh Bellamy is one of the few wide receivers remaining from the 2017 team, and a retired NFL player believes the best could still be yet to come for the 29-year-old pass-catcher.

Writing over at SB Nation, Stephen White is going around the NFL in search of breakout players and lands on Bellamy as that guy for the 2018 Bears.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

White has been breaking down tape of players around the league and believes Bellamy has a leap forward to make in 2018. You’ll find no argument here, so long as we’re being reasonable with or expectations. Bellamy has been a core special teams contributor in Chicago since 2014, meaning he will be one of the few players who will have played under Marc Trestman, John Fox, and Matt Nagy – provided he makes the team, of course. I suppose if Bellamy is going to break out with a big year as a receiver, this is the year to do it.

As for what he likes specifically, White lauds Bellamy’s “crisp” route-running skills and the ability to get open deep “on a pretty regular basis” while noting a handful of deep grabs in an offense that didn’t test secondaries with the long ball often. Bellamy’s deep ball skills show up on this grab of a Mitch Trubisky toss down the left sideline against the Green Bay Packers. It was one of those plays that had you thinking about what would happen if Trubisky was simply allowed to go deep more often and if he had players with the abilities to make the plays on the other end.

To be fair, one thing I’ve long noticed about Bellamy is that he was the one receiver on last year’s team who could create separation with his routes and speed. Maybe he stood out because other Bears players had issues in those areas. Or perhaps he does have those skills and they were simply under utilized by the previous regime.

In any case, catching the ball has been an issue for Bellamy, who caught just 52.2 percent of passes thrown his way last year and he had some pretty high-profile drops. HOWEVER, White watched Bellamy’s tape and chalks up those miscues as concentration drops, which he believes is correctable. If that happens to be the case, then a breakout season could be on the horizon.

The thing that is most likely to prevent a big receiving season from Bellamy is the talent around him. Chicago’s signings of Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton, along with the team drafting Anthony Miller (plus whatever Kevin White is) might mean that there aren’t enough balls to go around to allow Bellamy to make an impact. But stranger things have happened in the NFL. And because Bellamy still projects to be a core special teamer, he could slide his way into pass-catching reps as the season rolls around.

Bellamy’s breakout would definitely be a surprise, but a welcome one, at that.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.