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Brandon Marshall: Alshon Jeffery 'softer' last year

It was late in Tuesday's practice when Alshon Jeffery made a play that opened eyes at Chicago Bears training camp.

The second-year player snagged a Jay Cutler bullet in the back of the end zone, leaping high in the air to pull down a pass that looked, for all intents and purposes, like a throw-away.

"That play in the end zone really speaks for his offseason," wide receiver Brandon Marshall said, via the Chicago Tribune. "It was a really explosive offseason."

"He was softer last year, much softer," Marshall said. "Now he's strong. He's a beast."

The "softer" comment is of special interest here. Jeffery showed flashes of special big-play ability as a rookie, but he also missed time with injuries and disappeared for stretches. He would get beat on routes, outmuscled to a spot by more physical defenders.

After an offseason of work at Marshall's training facility in Weston, Fla., Jeffery is in better physical condition. Marshall said his teammate has lowered his body fat to 8 percent.

"He's like a sponge," Marshall said. "I say, 'Hey bro, this is how you take care of your body.' So he's eating right. Got a chef. Seeing a chiropractor. Getting massages. Studying film. Working out hard. I can't say enough about what he put in."

With an offense-centric new coach, a year of pro experience and peak physical condition on his side, Jeffery could be ready for big things. Don't say we didn't warn you.

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