Over the Course of the off-season the Bears have taken a lot of flack for their building around second year QB Justin Fields, or perceived lack thereof. The area on offense that has drawn the most scrutiny had largely been the receiving corps.
In the NFL, increasingly so in the last several decades, teams rely heavily on the passing game. As a result of the passing game prevalence the WR position has moved even more into the limelight than ever with fans looking for their respective teams to have one or more household names catching passes.
As it stands the Bears have a fairly young and lesser known receiving room consisting of third year receiver Darnell Mooney taking the WR1 role, 4th year wideout Byron Pringle at WR2, and rookie WR Velus Jones Jr. in the slot. Both Mooney and Pringle have had very solid careers, but many media sources, as well as some fans, don’t think they can provide that spark to push Fields and this offense to the next level.
Recently though, Justin Fields himself had spoken out on the matter of his receivers saying, “just because we don’t have a big-name guy doesn’t mean those guys aren’t talented.” The young QB went on to further express his faith in his WR corps adding, “I have plenty of confidence in myself and my teammates that we are going to get the job done.”
And there is sound reason for this confidence. Last year, in his first year filling in as a WR1, Darnell Mooney ranked 17th in the league in yards at 1,055 on 81 receptions also adding 4 touchdowns to his 2021 campaign. Pringle, spending last season in Kansas City largely as a depth piece still put up a respectable 568 yards and 5 touchdowns on 42 receptions. Lastly Velus, while this is his going to be his first year in the NFL he had himself a phenomenal final year at the University of Tennessee collecting 807 yards and 7 touchdowns on 62 receptions but also 623 yards and 1 touchdown on 23 returns.
I think Justin Fields was absolutely right about the talent of these young players and most definitely should be going into this season with confidence in them and himself. After all if anyone knows what’s going on within the offense the QB is high up on that list.