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.
Lmao DJ Moore is a menace in 1v1 coverage 😂
The DB is trying to take away his outside shoulder but Moore beats him across his face anyways, wins the physical battle, literally holds him away from the catch point with his right arm, and pulls in an underthrown pass.
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) August 1, 2023