On Thursday afternoon, Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney came to the mic and spent a healthy amount of time talking with reporters. During the post-practice session, Mooney addressed numerous topics.
How The New Regime Views Him
The third-year wideout discussed how he felt about the new regime and how they viewed him. Mooney acknowledges and respects that the new regime sees him as a valuable member of the team.
He also mentioned how it’s a results-oriented business and all about “what can you do now.” Likewise, Mooney said he’s looking forward to continuing to strive for greatness and helping his team win games
New Scheme and Playbook
Darnell Mooney was the asked the million-dollar question, regarding what appeals to him about the Chicago Bears’ new scheme and playbook. He mentioned that it feels organized and everything echos off each other. “Very nice. Very nice for sure,” Mooney said.
It seems the Bears’ offense has a rhythm and flow to it and the sequence of plays makes sense. If that proves to be the case, it will represent a total 180º from Matt Nagy and his offense.
Next, Mooney addressed new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. The Tulane product appreciates Getsy’s “cool” personality, which is able to help him connect with his wideouts.
It’s important to note that Getsy played a pivotal role in developing Davante Adams with the Green Bay Packers. Of course, Adams is now one of the top wide receivers in the game, something Mooney surely aspires to be.
What Can Mooney Still Improve On?
Darnell Mooney also shared that he would like to improve on his conditioning heading into the 2022 season to have the ability to play “six quarters.” He wants to “run faster than anybody else on the field and not get tired.”
He specifically mentioned that he watches Antonio Brown and how he runs in and out of huddles without looking tired. Specifically, he noted Cooper Kupp’s performance late in the Super Bowl, as Kupp was going full-throttle on the final drive and carrying his team to the win. Mooney wants to replicate that kind of performance and maintain consistency, especially since he expects to see more targets in 2022 than he ever has before.
Additionally, Mooney chimed in on his offseason training. He said he’s been running a bunch of miles, including short-time runs in 20-30 second bursts to improve his conditioning.
Chemistry With Justin Fields
Perhaps the most important development, Mooney said his chemistry and connection with Justin Fields grew over the offseason. The WR-QB duo spent a lot of time together in Atlanta and Mooney says their chemistry is “extremely high.”
Mooney elaborated on Fields’ offseason improvements as well. Specifically, he said Fields has added a little more touch to go along with that velocity. “He was throwing the ball really, really great.”
It seems these two have really bonded together and even took their competitive nature to the next level. Mooney said he and Fields were talking smack to each other until he finally conceded.
WRs in the NFL Draft
Mooney said he and Justin Fields do talk about the potential for the Chicago Bears to add wide receivers via the draft. He even joked that Fields may have hyped up Chris Olave too much, so much so that he may not be a possibility for the Bears now.
But Mooney is always open to adding more playmakers on offense, especially ones that can provide a spark and make the offense more dangerous. When asked about wideouts he likes in the 2022 draft, Mooney mentioned these names:
- George Pickens (Georgia)
- Garrett Wilson (Ohio State)
In addition, Mooney acknowledged how deep the draft is at the position this year. He said there are a lot of guys who can help the Bears.
Darnell Mooney said continues to try to earn his respect as he ventures further into his NFL journey. He felt disrespected going in the fifth round of the 2020 draft.
“At the end of the day I will get my respect. I’m going to keep going until I get my respect. Even when I do get my respect I’m going to keep going.”
One reporter followed up by saying “you sound angrier about that now than ever,” to which Mooney replied, with a smile on his face, “I’m good. I’m good. I’m good.”
Good Answer, Darnell.
Afterward, a different reporter asked, “Where would you go in a re-draft”?
“Hey, like, the Bears. The Bears,” Mooney answered.
Impact of Equanimeous St. Brown?
Regarding new additions, Mooney discussed the mindset that Equanimeous St. Brown and Luke Getsy bring from Green Bay.
“So like they obviously talked a lot and they kind of click together. They understand what they want out of a lot of the things, a lot of the plays,” Mooney said.
The Bears wide receiver also mentioned St. Brown and Getsy were with Davante Adams in Green Bay. “He [St. Brown] brings in a lot of the things he learned from Davante over here. We learned from St. Brown a lot.”
Mooney was then asked about what he thinks about wide receivers around the league getting paid what they’re getting paid, and some even moving in trades. “I like and retweet all of it, man. I love it when they get paid,” Mooney said.
Regarding his own future and potentially getting paid down the road? “Honestly, with the payment thing I can just do what I can do. I’m not expecting an extension or anything. I got four years so like after my four years we’ll talk again.”
The Chicago Bears and their fans should be excited about Darnell Mooney as he enters his third NFL season. Though it seems he was just a rookie not too long ago, he figures to be a leader of the wide receiver corps in 2022 and beyond. Mooney proved in his growth over the past two years that he’s fully capable of handling the volume and a major role.
However, he will have to do so without Allen Robinson backing up him and taking the pressure off him. But his confidence is high and his mindset is in right place. He seems ready to take on this role head-on.
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