When it comes to the Chicago Bears wide receiver room, there is a clear hierarchy. Darnell Mooney is the #1 guy. Everybody else is fighting for second place. He and Justin Fields have a strong connection that only grows with each passing day. However, if the young quarterback wants to ascend in the NFL, he’ll need more than one receiver to contribute. That is why this training camp is so important. The Bears are trying to find him targets he can mesh with.
There was no shortage of moves made. Byron Pringle, Dante Pettis, and Tajae Sharpe were notable free agents added. N’Keal Harry came over from New England via trade, and Velus Jones became their 3rd round pick. However, none of those guys was the first name mentioned by Fields when asked what other receivers have done a good job in the offense thus far. He saved that praise for Equanimeous St. Brown.
That kind of praise should not be discounted.
When a quarterback goes out of his way to mention a name like that, it is almost always a sign the receiver has his favor. Based on other accounts from training camp practices, Fields isn’t exaggerating. St. Brown has made multiple standout plays and does well of finding open space. It appears the two connect most often in 3rd down situations. That level of trust is hard to earn from a quarterback.
One more WR observation from Bears camp today: This was Equanimeous St. Brown's best practice, particularly in team drills.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 3, 2022
Nothing flashy here but this is a good read by Fields. The call is a outside zone left. Fields noticed the defender playing soft and dumps it to St. Brown for the first down. #BearsCamp #Bears pic.twitter.com/it7YtgxEsy
— Clay Harbor (@clayharbs82) August 3, 2022
God job here by fields finding Equanimeous St. Brown through traffic. I like what I saw from St. Brown this week but obviously you can’t fumble the football. 😡 #BearsCamp #BearsNation pic.twitter.com/vGIKyDdIJe
— Clay Harbor (@clayharbs82) August 3, 2022
There is no telling if this development will hold. St. Brown was mostly an afterthought for two years in Green Bay. Then again, that might not have been the case if injuries hadn’t slowed him in 2019 and early 2020. Those setbacks allowed others on the roster to steal offensive snaps from him. By the time he was healthy, Aaron Rodgers had found other preferred targets. No such obstacle exists in Chicago.
Justin Fields gravitates to receivers like St. Brown.
Looking back at his time with Ohio State, it was evident the quarterback liked receivers that could do two things. They could make consistent catches in tight coverage and aren’t lazy with their routes. It is the biggest reason he grew to trust Mooney so much last season. St. Brown, at least from a skillset perspective, might be considered a bigger version of Mooney. He’s not as fast but moves well, is 6’5, and doesn’t appear shy of fighting through contact. His special teams work in Green Bay proved that.
It would be such a great story if St. Brown emerged as a genuine weapon for Justin Fields. For one, he’ll have overcome his low 7th round draft status and getting cut by his first team. For another, it will mean the Bears stole him from their arch-rivals and made him a success. Almost always, it’s been the other way around. Undoubtedly, the receiver is motivated to show the Packers they made a mistake.
Helping a Bears QB become a success would be the ultimate payback.
Luke Getsy has trust in St. Brown. He’s known the wide receiver for most of his career. The two started working together in 2019. The Bears’ offensive coordinator is a wide receiver specialist. So if he pushed the team to sign St. Brown, he felt there was untapped potential. It is early, but he is looking like a genius at the moment.
Vildor is not going to prevent EQ from catching the pass…at 6’5″ and 200 plus, Vildor is outmatched and that will carry over with other DBs in the league. EQ runs a decent route, has size, and is very athletic and physical making him a nightmare to defend by smaller DBs. He showed flashes in GB and similar results, but prima donna QB had already decided he preferred A Lazard over EQ and the rest is history.
See? You can do it, Erik.
Give us more facts — and leave the silly “poor me. . . wait ’til next year” narrative to the other Chicago sports media weasels.
Vildor againg giving up a first because he played 10 yards of the LOS when they need to go 5 yards