How Justin Fields, DJ Moore are building chemistry for Bears

How Fields, Moore are building chemistry for Bears originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Tuesday wasn't the end point for Justin Fields and DJ Moore, but it was a critical jumping-off point for the Bears' new duo.

Fields linked up with Moore five times during Tuesday's OTA practice at Halas Hall, including a deep strike down the right sideline after a swift double move. Moore showcased his impressive speed and separation ability throughout Tuesday's session, beating Kindle Vildor, Jaylon Jones, and Tyrique Stevenson at will.

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"It was a little bit more than yesterday," Fields said of his connection with Moore on Tuesday. "I feel like the plays we had in yesterday, most of them weren’t going to him. So we had a lot of one-on-one backside stuff to him, so that was good to get on that same page. Even if we do have a concept — front side and then one-on-one backside I’m gonna, of course, work him more just to get those reps in right now. So when the season rolls around, we’re on the same page, and we have that connection going."

"It's still a work in progress," Moore echoed. "Today was a good day to jump-start that. Been on the same page a few times early on."

That connection still is in its infancy.

The Bears acquired Moore to give Fields an elite No. 1 receiver that can be the rocket fuel for what they hope is a meteoric rise as a passer in 2023. For that to occur, Fields and Moore have to create and cement an unbreakable bond between now and Week 1.


"Just understanding the game within the game," Moore said, explaining the key to developing the type of QB-WR1 bond that can be the bedrock of a Super Bowl team. "So, understanding the quarterback's footwork on different plays and just being in the right spot when he comes back. If I'm on the back side, just knowing that, 'Hey, I'm the back side read.' Or if I am on the front side, understanding his footwork for the front side. Just honing in on that."

"Just throwing routes, talking to him," Fields said, explaining the next steps in their evolution. "Having that communication during practice, during film, on what they’re thinking vs. certain coverages and stuff like that. Just to get on the same page. Once you’re on the same page mentally, it just comes down to reading their body language and knowing what they’re gonna do vs. certain coverages."

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The on-field portion is only half the battle, though. Moore was adamant that the connection he and Fields build off the field and in the locker room is the lifeblood of anything they create.


“Off the field," Moore said. "We can have the connection on the field but when you go deeper into it, it’s the off the field relationship, the locker room relationship, even outside of work relationship. That’s what we are going to keep doing.”

Moore's arrival won't just aid Fields in what is expected to be a make-or-break season for the young quarterback. Adding a true No. 1 receiver with Moore's vast skillset should also help elevate Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney.

"I think it helps the receivers," Fields said. "Of course, DJ's No. 1. He's gonna play the X. Instead of them having to move around, they can just focus on their position. Of course, they're going to have to know the whole concepts and stuff like that, but it's going to be good for them, just knowing their route, knowing their job, getting guys to run certain routes that they can get good at so that they can practice that. I think it's good for them. And it should be more consistent for them running the routes and more consistent for me throwing to them."

The Bears cashed in the No. 1 overall pick to add Moore and a host of draft picks from the Carolina Panthers. Having a player of Moore's elite caliber has already given the Bears' offense, which was relatively lifeless outside of Fields in 2022, a brand new look and feel.

As long as Moore and Fields develop

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