At 9:00 AM on July 27, the gates to training camp opened at Halas Hall, and with that, there’s newfound optimism among the fans of the NFL’s founding franchise, as the exciting offseason additions create an opportunity for improvement on both sides of the ball.
DJ Moore is now the number 1 Wide Receiver Bears fans have been clamoring for since 2021 when the Bears drafted QB Justin Fields with the 11th overall pick in that draft. The offensive line was solidified with the signing of Right Guard Nate Davis and most notably drafting Tennessee Right Tackle Darnell Wright. Cody Whitehair moved back to Center where he belongs and had the best years of his career. The Bears also spent a ton of money at off-ball Linebacker, signing Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. How did all these shiny new toys look in the first day of camp?
1. DJ Moore is just as good as advertised
DJ Moore is a playmaker, we all knew it. Some thought it would take some time to develop a rapport with Justin Fields. Anyone who took in this practice can tell that they have great chemistry already. Fields hit Moore on a deep ball down the right sideline in 7-on-7 drills. Moore beat rookie CB Tyrique Stevenson. Moore fills a role the Bears haven’t had since Allen Robinson was here. That role is a true X Receiver who can run the entire route tree and make contested catches. However, he can stretch the field as well. Moral of the story, Moore changes the Bears offense for the better.
2. Tyler Scott is going to be hard to keep off the field
When the Bears took Tyler Scott in the 2023 draft, I knew he was a speed threat. However, watching him in person is just different than watching on tape. Scott was on the 2nd team for a large portion of this practice. Backup QB PJ Walker launched a deep ball down the middle of the field and Tyler Scott was wide open after beating 2nd year Cornerback Jaylon Jones. Scott is going to be a great deep threat for the Bears. His offensive usage will be fun to watch.
3. The Bears Linebackers are going to be great
Tremaine Edmunds was 19 years old when he was drafted in the first round by the Buffalo Bills in the 2018. 18 draft. Fast forward to today, and Edmunds is 25 and 72 million dollars richer after signing with the Bears as an unrestricted Free Agent this offseason. Edmunds has only gotten better and registered his best year to date in 2022. Edmunds will be such a great plug-and-play guy right in the middle of the defense. TJ Edwards isn’t as flashy athletically as Edmunds is, but he is the tough-nosed and smart player they need. Edwards, who was born and raised in Lake Villa, Illinois, took a hometown discount to sign with his childhood team. Jack Sanborn, another local kid out of Lake Zurich, is poised to enter his first full year as a starter. Sanborn was the main Linebacker after Roquan Smith was traded at the trade deadline. He impressed, but he should be even better behind Edmunds and Edwards.
The Bears will be better in 2023 than they were in 2022. Heck, they couldn’t be worse. It all comes down to Justin Fields and if he makes the next steps or not, but these are all stories to keep an eye on as camp goes on and into the season.