DJ Moore Is A Very Good Wide Receiver And I Can’t Wait To See Him Play

| August 3rd, 2023

Based on reports from around Chicagoland, the offense struggled in yesterday’s practice — so much so that Justin Fields mentioned in his presser that “It’s really good to have days like this.” and that in his opinion it’s good for the offense to go through adversity in these early stages of training camp.

Here’s my issue: I don’t want to wet blanket everyone else’s wet blanket attitude, but we’re talking about football practice. This builds on Tuesday’s article, but the toughest part about this time of year is how much we, as outside observers, could never know about what’s going on in practice.

Is Justin Fields working with new throwing mechanics for the first time? Is Fields going out of his way to force tighter-window throws than usual in effort to get comfortable on gotta-have-it throwing downs? Would he have attempted these throws if he wasn’t wearing his red jersey? If he would’ve, does that make the practice picks (that many NFL pundits think are a consistent sign of pushing limits in Training Camp) better or worse?

Personally, this week has felt full of unnecessary hand-wringing by anxious Bears fans — I get it, we’re all dying to know whether Justin Fields has taken that elusive QB “next step” or not, but unfortunately we’re going to see our answer displayed on the practice field over the next few weeks.

Procedurally, I like hearing that the Bears are working Fields as a pure passer (sounds as if they aren’t letting him scramble in 11-on-11 or 7-on-7 drills and the defense isn’t leaving a spy to cover him, which tests Fields’ arm as much as possible) and trust that they’re doing all they can to help him succeed at all levels. Whether he does or not is up to him.

In the meantime, I treated myself to a bit more of DJ Moore’s tape and had a lot of fun digging up gems. Here’s a few of my favorites:

1. DJ Moore is the whole package as a WR, and on this route he:

  • Beats his CB across his face
  • Powers through contact as he releases
  • Bursts downfield before recognizing the pass is underthrown
  • Stiff-arms his DB downfield to subtly push off and create a football-sized bucket for Darnold to throw into, which he collects for the TD.

He’s the real deal, should be fun next year.

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Brief Notes on the Week One Free Agent Signings

| March 18th, 2023

The Bears were aggressive over the first week of free agency, as Ryan Poles now begins the process of rebuilding the roster he needed to tear down in 2022. Here are thoughts (with a few insider-type notes) on the signing writ large.

  • There was a bidding war for the services of Tremaine Edmunds, with Buffalo South (the Giants) also making an aggressive bid for his services. Here’s what I know about Edmunds. His former DC, Les Frazier, called the Bears to congratulate them on the signing. Two people who formally worked with him, Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll, were all-in for him. The man who invented the phrase Bills Mafia, Del Reid, texted me to say the Bears got a good one. If you’re cynical about this signing, it’s because you just want to be cynical.
  • P.J. Walker is one of those signings that gives me confidence in this front office. It does not make sense for the Bears to have a quarterback backing up Fields that cannot run his offense. Walker can. Is he a great player? No. There aren’t enough good STARTING quarterbacks, let alone backups. But Walker is 4-3 as a starter. If Fields misses a few games due to injury, Walker can hold down the position and perhaps sneak a few victories. That’s all you can ask for from a backup QB.
  • I was once having a conversation an NFL personnel man and he said something profound: “Most evaluators can never escape their college grades.” When Poles was asked about Travis Homer he said, “That’s a guy I’ve loved since college.” Homer is only 24 years old. It won’t be surprising if Poles envisions a larger role for him in this offense than many of us expect.

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