The Chicago Bears knew they had to get Justin Fields some help once they entered the 2023 off-season. GM Ryan Poles felt the two biggest issues were obvious. He needed better protection up front and more reliable weapons at wide receiver. He addressed the latter issue in his blockbuster trade with Carolina for the #1 pick, securing veteran D.J. Moore in the return package. While not considered elite among NFL receivers, most experts feel the former 1st round pick has a case for being in the top 10. His track record in Carolina shows a go-to target any quarterback would be grateful to have.
The two came together for official practices for the first time when Organized Team Activities began. According to multiple reports, they didn’t waste time showcasing how good their connection could become. Fields found Moore early and often during drills, punctuated by a bomb down the field for what likely would’ve been a touchdown if the timing had been slightly better. If their chemistry is this good so early in the process, then the best is yet to come.
Justin Fields already sees the appeal of Moore.
He explained his first impressions of the new addition after practice. The speed was as advertised. What stood out to Fields the most was Moore’s body control. He has a unique ability to use his body to create extra separation on his routes. Couple that with great hands, and he makes everything look routine. Moore believes the two still have work to do. It will be a few more weeks before their chemistry is where it needs to be. He expects it should be in place by the start of training camp.
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Where it gets interesting is how Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool factor into this equation. Mooney hasn’t returned to practice yet, still recovering from his season-ending ankle injury last year. Claypool never got a chance to forge a proper connection with Justin Fields after the Bears traded for him. Both suffered injuries that limited their time on the field together. That is why this summer is essential to the development of this passing game. If everything plays up to their potential, 2023 could be fun.