Chicago Bears

Matt Eberflus on WR DJ Moore at OTAs: “There’s a different gear there”

If you didn’t know better, you’d think Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus was a scout. He’s said many times since joining the Bears that he loves the talent evaluation that comes with the offseason, crediting his days as a college recruiter. So whenever we get a chance to hear him break down a player’s traits, it’s worthwhile to listen.

Eberflus did that Tuesday when he discussed the Bears’ newest playmaker, wide receiver DJ Moore.

“The first thing I (noticed) is speed,” Eberflus said. “I just saw that yesterday, and I was like ‘wow.’ There’s a different gear there, you know? That was exciting to see yesterday.”

That different gear should pay immediate dividends in the Chicago Bears’ passing game. Justin Fields hasn’t had the chance to play with a difference-maker like Moore during his first two seasons in the league. Launching deep balls to a player with Moore’s skill set will be a welcome change.

“It’s rare when you’ve got a guy that can run the route and have the route discipline that he has and the football IQ that he has, and then also that speed and that talent he has,” Eberflus said.

Moore enjoyed three-straight 1,100-yard seasons with the Carolina Panthers from 2019-2021 before regressing to 888 yards in 2022. He did manage a career-high with seven touchdowns last year despite catching passes from misfit quarterbacks like Sam Darnold.

DJ Moore will combine with Chase Claypool to give the Chicago Bears their most talented pair of receivers since the Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery duo. The upside in Chicago’s passing game is very real when factoring in Darnell Mooney as the slot receiver. Justin Fields has a legitimate chance to become the first 4,000-yard passer in franchise history because of it this season.

Moore’s presence has changed the perception of the Bears’ offense. Now, it’s up to Chicago’s coaching staff to turn perception into reality.

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