Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Darnell Mooney Explains Why He Loves The New Bears Coaches


Darnell Mooney arrived in a reasonably stable situation with the Chicago Bears in 2020. The team had won the division two years prior and narrowly missed a winning record in 2019. Expectations were they’d be able to make another run at the playoffs that season. The 5th round pick became a major contributor, collecting a rookie record 66 catches. The Bears did make the playoffs, but only with an 8-8 record. Things were trending in the wrong direction.

It all came to a head last season when the Bears crumbled after another promising start, going 6-11 with yet again one of the worst offenses in the NFL. Nowhere was the sense of helplessness felt to Mooney more than Matt Nagy and his coaching staff. They had no answers for what was ailing the team. He admitted on Red Line Radio that players had pretty much checked out by the end of the year.

It is easy to understand.

That is common with teams losing under a more established coaching staff. It was already becoming apparent by the end of 2020 that Nagy was losing control of the situation. Many people felt he should’ve been fired after that year. However, chairman George McCaskey opted to bring him back. That decision left the Bears in their current predicament, undertaking a rebuild that should’ve started a year earlier.

Now Mooney has had a chance to digest the first few months of Matt Eberflus and his new regime. A few things are already apparent to the wide receiver. The 51-year-old head coach is far more chill than Nagy. He isn’t a rah-rah guy that relies on the power of positivity. He holds players accountable, sets the standard, and lets his assistants do their jobs. Yet what stands out the most isn’t that. It’s something far simpler.

Darnell Mooney understands the value of organization.

When players have to think less about what they’re supposed to do, the faster and better they play on the field. That is the job of the head coach. He needs to have everything in place, everything planned out. Make sure practices run smoothly and have a cohesive game plan for Sundays. The best coaches can do this. That is why their teams always seem to execute better.

Nagy was never known for his organizational skills. Practices seemed erratic and disjointed at times. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that the Bears always had problems with penalties, blown assignments, and other mental miscues. Darnell Mooney seems to think those issues will get cleaned up under Eberflus. He has everybody on the same page. Now it becomes a matter of figuring out who belongs in the team’s long-term outlook.

Mooney is one of them.

He is unquestionably the best receiver they have on the roster. Justin Fields already trusts him. The work ethic and speed are two things Eberflus covets in his players. If he is ready to buy into the vision of this staff, then it won’t take long for others to follow. The Bears might not be the most talented team right now, but they should be far more organized and efficient than last year.


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Jun 25, 2022 2:56 pm

When Mooney says “Everybody knows exactly what the coaches want,” it applies to more than just organizational skills. These cats set standards. Straightforward, clear, easy to understand standards.
Tevin Jenkins admitted recently that there were times in the Nagy offense when it was not at all clear what they were even trying to accomplish. The dude was a ROOKIE, and felt like he’d been drafted to play a part in “The Emporer’s New Robe”.

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