Bears general manager Ryan Poles kicked things off with his press conference and then seven new Bears players were introduced.
Here are some of the top takeaways from the newest Chicago Bears.
DJ Moore elevates the offense
After Poles answered questions from the media, DJ Moore immediately followed. There was a brief pause while photographers took pictures. Moore, with all the attention focused on him, looked left then right and said, “Hello. Sup?”
It’s clear Moore isn’t the biggest talker, but he doesn’t have to be. He will have to be someone who leads by example, because if the Bears are going to take a jump offensively next season, he will be a big part of why that happens.
That’s why the Bears needed to have him in the trade for the No. 1 overall pick, and Moore understands how much of an impact he can have for Justin Fields and the rest of the offense.
“I think everybody’s level can reach a new level here now that I’m here,” Moore said. “The whole presence ofー I was talking to (Darnell) Mooney and was talking about being together with Chase (Claypool) and me and him, how we’re just going to elevate the offense and just elevate Justin at the same time. Because I’m not just here to be like, ‘I’m here,’ just like a bright light. I’m here to make everyone around me better and we just want to try to get some wins.”
Why Tremaine Edmunds chose the Chicago Bears
If there is one thing the Chicago Bears are known for, it’s the team’s history at linebacker. The newest addition to play the heralded position for the Bears is 24-year-old Tremaine Edmunds.
Outside of the four-year, $72 million contract he signed, one of the other other reasons he ultimately chose Chicago was because he wanted to be a part of the Bears’ legacy at linebacker.
“When you talk about great linebackers — in particularly, middle linebackers — I mean, why wouldn’t you want to come to a place like this?,” Edmunds said. “It’s such a great tradition. I’m just excited to write my own story now. Obviously they’ve had a lot of great guys to come through here. I’m a big believer that you gotta pay respect to those guys who came before, because that’s who we’ve striving to be like. Not exactly imitate their game, but take a little bit from everybody and put it into your own game.”
Another important factor in Edmunds’ decision was Justin Fields — which was a common theme from the Bears newly acquired players.
“You know, obviously that goes into the decision of making that decision to come here,” Edmunds said. “And you know, I’m excited just being around him and you know I know the offensive side they’re going to do their thing . They’re going to handle their job. You know, I’m excited just to being able to build in particular on the defensive side and I’m excited to get to work with him.”
T.J. Edwards’ connection with Ian Cunningham
T.J. went from being an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin in 2019 to one of the upcoming linebackers in the NFL. He finished tied for seventh in total tackles with 159 and eighth among linebacker in passes defensed with seven.
But his success in the league wasn’t instantaneous. Luckily for Edwards, he was surrounded by the right people. Bears assistant general manager Ian Cunningham was one of those individuals. When the Eagles signed Edwards, Cunningham was the assistant director of player personnel at the time, and he would provide some encouraging words to the undrafted free agent linebacker.
“Ian was honestly I think one of the first people that I met in Philly, first people that I talked to in Philly,” Edwards said. “From Day 1, I mean, I was an undrafted dude not playing much and he was always in my ear telling me he could see it and to keep working. It was really times like that it meant the most. He’s always been really good to me. It means the world man. Just talking to him a little earlier before I got in here, he’s always had my back. But for me, a guy vouches for you, it’s your job to come in here and perform. Make him right. I’m excited about that.”
It didn’t take long for offensive lineman Nate Davis to feel welcomed by his new teammates. And that helps when a player is making the transition one team to the other.
While in Tennessee, Davis played all of his snaps at the right guard position. For now, though, Davis isn’t focused on where exactly he will be playing in Chicago. Those questions will be answered in due time.
“The thing about this team is the players here,” Davis said. “It’s already such a close group. I’ve already met a couple guys walking around the building. I’ve known a couple from past teams too. So I’m not too worried about that.”
Something that has caught Davis’ attention in the short amount of time he been on the team is the wide zone scheme.
“Just the physicality that they play with,” Davis said. “That’s the biggest thing I like about it. It’s a close-knit group that plays tough, is very unselfish and that’s what I love about it.”
DeMarcus Walker learning how to become a pro
DeMarcus Walker left quite the impression in his introductory press conference on Thursday. Especially when he was asked whether Justin Fields had an influence on him singing with the Bears.
What may have been overlooked, though, was Walker’s honesty when discussing his journey through his first six years in the NFL. It wasn’t until last season with the Titans that Walker had his “breakout season” when he finished with a career-high 32 total tackles and seven sacks.
Walker was asked why he was able to have his best statistical season in 2022.
“Great question. Spiritually, my lord and savior,” Walker said. “This is a football league that is hard to sustain, so every year there’s a draft, every year there’s free agency, then obviously it’s a violent sport. Practice, weight lifting, the game, and then life. … So to where I’m in, every year was a new task to learn something new, to challenge myself to get to where I’m at. So, with that, it takes faith, so if you take one step, it leads to two, three and four. Then you get to walking and everything. So, going into year six was not only a step of faith, but everything that I learned in film from the years prior met me at that point: position work, foot work, more stretching, being a better pro, learning from everyone around me …”
Travis Homer confident in his ability
New Bears running back Travis Homer gave off the “team-first” attitude that a lot of players on the team embody in his Thursday press conference. That shouldn’t be a surprise for a player who will be part of a running back committee approach and someone who will contribute on special teams.
Homer did give insight on how he will be able to contribute to a Bears running back room that no longer has David Montgomery.
“I’m just going to try to step in, just be the guy that they want me to be,” Homer said. “I would say I’m one of the best pass protecting backs in the league and I’m going to make sure I stay true to that. I’m just going to come in here and do what I need to do. Just hopefully be someone that people can depend on.”
P.J. Walker shares insight on DJ Moore
The Bears must’ve watched a lot of film on the Panthers because they keep adding their players on the roster. But quarterback P.J. Walker makes a lot of sense as a backup, especially after the Bears released Trevor Siemian and Walker allows the offense to remain similar to what Justin Fields runs.
Walker also knows a thing or two about DJ Moore. He shared a good nugget about the new Bears wide receiver and what stands out about him in his introductory press conference.
“I think his strength, his speed, and he’s smart. That’s one thing I can say about him,” Walker said. “When I was in Carolina with him, a lot of times watching he was out of the huddle when the play was finally finished. That just goes to show you what type of player you’re getting. There’s no waiting around. When you get a guy like that and you’re two words into the huddle and he’s already breaking the huddle, there aren’t many guys like that and he’s one of them. For us, it was great. You know you got a smart guy out there who knows where to line up, knows the routes, can help the guys around him. Second to none. His talent speaks for itself. But the little things like being smart, knowing where to be, knowing coverages, knowing how to break down zones, I think that’s something that stood out in Carolina as well.”
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