Darnell Mooney has high expectations this coming season. That isn’t anything new. The former 5th round pick held himself to a high standard from the moment he arrived from Tulane in 2020. That is why he broke the Chicago Bears’ rookie record for receptions in a season and cracked 1,000 yards last year despite three different starting quarterbacks. The guy is talented, but nobody understands how crazy his work ethic is.
So yeah, he expects big things in 2022. Not only from himself, either. This offseason has presented a perfect opportunity for Mooney to build on his connection with Justin Fields. The second-year quarterback is now the unquestioned starter. Both men have spent months working together, improving their chemistry. According to Ehsan Kassim of The Gadsden Times, the two have almost been trying to outdo each other on how much more time they can put in.
“Almost every week. Except for this week, obviously. I’m down here, you know helping out my young boys. But we get to work every time, every chance we get for sure. Like, any off-time, any time after practice. I mean, we continuously work nonstop.”
As somebody who is closest to Fields, the receiver was asked a simple question. How good does he think the quarterback will be this season? Mooney’s answer was short and impossible to misinterpret.
“He’s going to be amazing.”
Darnell Mooney aims to make that prediction come true.
After all, Fields becoming a better quarterback and thus more popular with the national media only means good things for him. That means more respect from those same people for his receiving abilities. Some may think he’s biased because he’s so close to Fields. That might be true, but he also knows the quarterback better than anybody. For him to not beat around the bush like that with such a firm statement is interesting.
That level of confidence is reassuring. Fields not only has more experience now, but he’s also working in an offense that seems to have a much clearer identity under coordinator Luke Getsy. They’re going to run the football and utilize heavy doses of play action. Then they will sprinkle in other plays that work to the strengths of Fields as a quarterback. These are all things Matt Nagy and his staff failed to utilize. Darnell Mooney can’t wait to get started in training camp. He expects big things ahead.