LAKE FOREST — Get comfortable hearing “Justin Fields completes a pass to DJ Moore for a Bears first down.”
All the duo has done since being matched together is make plays all over the field. During one of the 7-on-7 portions of Thursday’s practice, Fields hit Moore in stride with a perfectly thrown ball down the right sideline. Rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson could only watch as the ball fell into Moore’s outstretched hands.
Again, get used to the Fields and Moore connection linking up a lot this season, but an equally as encouraging part of the practice happened on the next two plays.
Following the completion to Moore, Fields then went to that same right side of the field and completed a pass to Velus Jones Jr. The second-year wide receiver ran about a 10-yard hitch and Fields threw the ball as Jones hit the top of his route. The timing needed to be perfect, since Fields threw into a crowded area and Jones did a nice job fighting to make the catch.
Then on the third play, Fields hit Darnell Mooney on a simple five-yard out route. Fields distributed the ball to three different playmakers on consecutive plays. The 7-on-7 session did end with two incomplete passes to Mooney (one a drop and another a PBU by Terell Smith), but the main takeaway is that Fields needs to continue spreading the ball around.
Only then will the Bears be able to see the full capabilities of their offensive attack.
There were plenty of other highlight and notable plays that took place under the intense heat on the practice fields at Halas Hall.
Here are the ones that stood out from the second training camp practice.
- Fields and Moore connected several more times throughout the practice. Fields found Moore in the middle of the field during 11 on 11s on a curl route. There were several defenders in the area, but the timing of the route and throw allowed Fields to complete the ball to his No. 1 receiver. Shortly after, Fields found Moore again in the middle of the field for a nice gain.
- Tyler Scott made some explosive plays in Thursday’s practice. On multiple reps, Scott showed his top-end speed and ability to create separation on defensive backs. Against veteran cornerback Michael Ojemudia in 1 on 1s, Scott completely ran by Ojemudia and caught a touchdown pass from Fields. Later in the practice, P.J. Walker targeted Scott down the left the sideline. Scott got behind Jaylon Jones and caught the pass from Walker, but the referee signaled that Scott caught the deep ball out of bounds.
- Velus Jones also had a productive practice. One thing I wanted to pay attention to was Jones’ route running. In 1 on 1s, he created separation against Kindle Vildor on a vertical route and made a really good over-the-shoulder catch for a deep touchdown from Walker. Really impressive play all around. Jones also had the nice grab in 7 on 7s that was highlighted above. In addition to making plays as a receiver, Jones also fielded the kickoffs cleanly during special teams drills.
- Let’s stick with the wide receivers. Chase Claypool started the day by catching a pass against Stevenson in 1 on 1s. Then during a 7 on 7 portion of practice, Fields and Claypool went 0 for 2. One was a clear drop from Claypool. The other play, Fields tried to fit the ball into a tight window, but Claypool was unable to come down with the ball. It appeared one of the defensive backs may have got their hand on the ball. Towards the end of practice, Claypool did come up with a big catch over the middle of the field. Claypool did bobble the ball after it hit his hands, but he came down with the catch. Claypool did collide with a defensive back on his way down and took a moment to quickly stretch before walking off the field.
- T.J. Edwards showed his coverage ability throughout the practice. During the first 7-on-7 period, Edwards showed patience and stayed in his zone over the middle of the field. Fields had nowhere to go and threw a ball in Mooney’s direction, but Edwards’ positioning caused an incomplete pass. Edwards also was in perfect position on a screen pass intended for Khalil Herbert. Edwards beat the blocker to his landmark and prevented a big play from happening.
- Kyler Gordon showed his versatility in Thursday’s practice. He broke up a Fields pass intended for Nsimba Webster. Then later during the team period, he blew up a screen play intended for D’Onta Foreman. Gordon nearly tackled Foreman, but stopped once he heard the whistle.
- Jaquan Brisker took a nice angle and showed fast closing speed on a run by Khalil Herbert. Brisker was ready and in position to deliver a big hit on the running back. He also flexed after the play. You can just tell he is ready to put on the pads.
- Elijah Hicks nearly picked of Fields in the middle of the field. Hicks read the play and jumped the route, but was unable to finish the play with the interception.
- Tight end Chase Allen is an under-the-radar guy who had a nice practice. He made a nice diving catch over the middle of the field from Walker in the early portion of team drills. Then Walker found Allen again for another completion in the middle of the field at the end of practice.
- Walker found Equanimeous St. Brown on an over route (left to right) and connected with the receiver in stride for a nice gain.