Why Bears' DJ Moore was one of Greg Olsen's favorite Panthers teammates

Greg Olsen: Moore 'one of the best dudes I ever played with' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Since the draft is fresh in most people’s minds, and another way of free agency looms, fans tend to talk about the impact players like Darnell Wright can make for the Bears this season, or the impact Yannick Ngakoue could make if Ryan Poles decided to sign him. However the biggest offseason addition remains DJ Moore.

Moore gives the Bears a no-doubt No. 1 wideout for Justin Fields to target. He should elevate the offense single-handedly, and help other wide receivers perform better, too. With defenses dialed in on Moore as the top pass catcher, guys like Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool get open.

By all accounts, Moore is a great teammate and should fit into the culture that Poles and Matt Eberflus are trying to build, too. Earlier this week former Panthers tight end Greg Olsen joined the “Waddle and Silvy” show and explained what makes Moore such an important addition to the Bears locker room.

“DJ is one of the best dudes that I ever played with,” Olsen said on "Waddle and Silvy." “He doesn't have a lot to say. He's not a real flashy guy. He's not out there trying to make a name. But you talk about a guy who, when the lights go on, is a competitor the way he fights with the ball in his hand.”

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Moore and Olsen only played together for two seasons, but Olsen said that Moore made an impression right away.

“From the first day we saw him as a rookie when we drafted him, he almost is like part wide receiver, part running back,” Olsen said. “The way he runs with the ball, he's got a low center of gravity, he's very strong with the ball in his hand. He looks like a running back when he's running with the ball, which is not the norm. You know, most receivers are not really looking for contact. They're not really looking to play physical with the ball in their hand. They do most of their damage before. So DJ is a little different in that regard.”

Normally there are some questions about how quickly a wide receiver and quarterback can mesh. Players learn new systems at different paces and there’s no clear timeline on how long it takes for a QB and WR to develop the chemistry required to play at a high level. With Moore there is less concern about that on-ramping period. In just five seasons, Moore played with eight different starting quarterbacks: Cam Newton, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen, Will Grier, Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker, Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. To put it lightly, some of those QBs are better than others. Yet Moore was always able to perform at a high level. He racked up at least 1,150 receiving yards from 2019-2021. He scored four touchdowns every year over that same time frame, and found the endzone seven times last year. Now, Moore is expected to have a consistent QB in Fields, for the first time in his career, so it’s reasonable to believe he could set new personal bests.

“He was just a great teammate,” Olsen said. “Hard worker, everything you'd want in a guy.”

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