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Hoge's Bears Things: Early chemistry between Justin Fields and DJ Moore is a good sign

Adam Hoge Avatar
May 24, 2023

As Chuck Pagano once said: “I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back on the grass.”

The truth is, I love OTAs. There’s nothing better than being back on the football field after a cold Chicago winter.

The weather at Halas Hall on Tuesday was outstanding — and the football wasn’t bad either. I’ve covered my share of offseason practices in which the Bears’ offense looks disjointed and out of sync, so it’s within reason for fans to feel good about what transpired between Justin Fields and DJ Moore during Tuesday’s open OTA practice. They connected early and often, with the play of the day being a diving catch Moore made on a deep shot from Fields.

“You can see good execution, that they’re on the same page. You can just feel that rep after rep,” Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said after practice. “It’s the consistency of it. It’s not just one time, it’s pretty much every time.”

Look, the Bears have only been on the field for two team practices — and no one here is claiming the Fields-Moore connection is one of the best in the NFL yet. But Tuesday’s positive practice certainly beats the alternative.

Eberflus’ comments carry some extra weight considering we could see the success with our own eyes. Remember: The media isn’t allowed to watch practice during the regular season.

Flus went on to say that the football should never hit the ground in 7-on-7 drills “and we’re not there yet,” which was backed up by a near interception on a pass intended to Moore and another deep ball that was thrown well out of bounds.

But it’s also OK to be excited about some early chemistry between Fields and Moore, so I asked Fields if Tuesday just happened to be a good day or if it was representative of what the two have already built.

“It was a little bit more than yesterday,” Fields responded. “I feel like the plays we had in yesterday, most of them weren’t going to him. So we had a lot of 1-on-1 backside stuff to him, so that was good to get on that same page. Even if we do have a concept on the front side and then 1-on-1 backside, I’m going to 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.”

Fields wasn’t shy about calling Moore the No. 1 receiver and confirmed that his new No. 1 will be playing the X-position. That stability should help the rest of the receivers find their roles, although it’s worth noting that Darnell Mooney is still recovering from his late-season ankle injury.

Still, it all starts with Fields and Moore, and if Tuesday’s practice is any indication, the Bears’ offense appears headed in the right direction.

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