Tag Archives: Justin Fields

Bears’ Jaylon Johnson Clarifies Stance on Contract Extension Amid Absence

This is undoubtedly a big season for the Chicago Bears and a player like cornerback Jaylon Johnson. But he’s not letting a potentially volatile situation weigh on him.

Johnson, 24, is heading into the final year of his rookie contract.

“It used to be a lot of pressure,” Johnson admitted on ESPN’s Keyshawn, J Will, & Max on June 1. “Going into my third year, I felt like that was a year for me to put myself out there to be able to have a new contract, to be able to re-up. I think for me, it’s just about going out and being who I am. And, for me I know I can be a dominant corner – I am a dominant corner in this league.”

Jaylon Johnson Feeling ‘No Pressure’ Ahead of Contract Season

As a former second-round pick (No. 50 overall, 2020), there is no fifth-year option to pick up. Johnson and the Bears will have to agree on a new deal before the end of the year. Otherwise, they risk the fourth-year man out of Utah walking for nothing in free agency.

Johnson missed the final three weeks of the 2022 season with a broken ring finger. But he recently declared himself “100% back” in an interview with ABC 30 sports anchor Alec Nolan on May 21.

Bears’ Jaylon Johnson Makes Bold Declaration Ahead of Critical Season: ‘100%’

Johnson has been absent from OTAs to this point.

But he attributed it to his many charitable endeavors including Kevvy’s Vision Project.

“Just finding ways to continue to do my job at a higher rate, continue to be a better teammate, continue to find ways to win,” Johnson told the KJM crew. “At the end of the day, that’s all I want to do.”

Jaylon Johnson Backs Up David Montgomery’s Comments

Former Bears running back David Montgomery – who signed with the NFC North rival Detroit Lions this offseason – caught some flack over comments he made regarding his time in Chicago, saying all of the losing the team did in his four years sucked the fun out of playing football.

Johnson, who played with Montgomery for three of those seasons confirmed the circumstances at the very least if not the underlying sentiment that players want to be competitive.

“I haven’t had a winning season since I’ve been a Chicago Bear yet,” Johnson said on KJM. “I want to come in and be a dominant guy in the league, I want to dominate on this defense, and I want to come in and change that narrative.

“With winning come’s paychecks. And, I think at the end of the day, I need to focus on winning and that’s what I’m worried about going into Year 4.”

The Bears will need more than just Johnson to get out of the shadows of the 3-14 season they had in 2022.

Their aggressive offseason moves should go a long way to helping them achieve that, though.

“We heading in an upward projection, for sure,” said Johnson. “I feel like there’s nothing that I think we don’t have right now…We just got to come in and keep proving ourselves. Coming and keep finding ways to try and win games.”

Johnson noted the Bears’ additions on both lines, at wide receiver with D.J. Moore and rookie Tyler Scott, and even noted the added depth of rookie Tyrique Stevenson.

“We’re building from the ground up,” he said. “We have a good foundation with our offense.”

Justin Fields is ‘Progressing Really Well’

All of the feel-good statements coming out of OTAs about the Bears won’t mean anything if third-year quarterback Justin Fields is unable to take the necessary steps as a passer this season. He has had coaches say good things about him but Johnson spoke to it from a teammate’s perspective.

“I think he’s progressing really well,” Johnson said. “I expect for him to shine.”

Johnson credited Fields’ intangibles like toughness and leadership and noted that being in Year 2 in the Bears’ offense under offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will pay dividends.

“It’s one thing to have a coach come in your rookie year, you have to learn a new system. And for him to be fired and you have to go into a new system. It’s like you never really have a chance to get comfortable.

“I think he’s extremely comfortable now, and extremely confident [and] I think he can be very dangerous. And you’ll see a lot of that dominant quarterback play that you saw at Ohio State.”

Bears’ Justin Fields Sounds Off on Embattled Playmaker: ‘He’s Taken Another Step’

On the first day of OTAs, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields had plenty to say about his weapons this season.

Justin Fields Name Drops Chase Claypool, Darnell Mooney

When asked what was the next step for him in the offense from a technical aspect, Fields mentioned working in 2022 trade deadline acquisition Chase Claypool in more this season.

“Chase is improved tremendously just from the end of last year to now,” Fields said via the team’s Twitter feed on May 23. “That’s one thing I’m truly proud to say. Just seeing his work ethic, his attitude changed. You can just see he’s taken another step. So definitely excited for that.”

That has to be music to fans’ and general manager Ryan Poles’ ears.

The pick used to acquire the fourth-year man from the Pittsburgh Steelers turned into the No. 32 overall pick.

It is a steep price to pay for the 140 yards on 14 grabs Claypool — who Fields had to calm on the sidelines at one point last season — produced after he arrived last season.

The receiving core was still shorthanded with fourth-year man Darnell Mooney still recovering from surgery to repair a broken fibula. Mooney said on “The 33rd Team” podcast on May 18 that he recently began cutting and expects to be good to go for the season.

He is just one year removed from posting his first 1000-yard season.

“We don’t even have Mooney right now in practice,” Fields noted. “So once we get him back it’s going to be awesome. So very excited, for sure

Justin Fields: D.J. Moore a ‘Great’ WR

Fields was asked about wide receiver D.J. Moore whom the Bears acquired from the Panthers as part of their trade out of the No. 1 overall pick. Moore is the draft pick to suit up for the Bears since Kevin White (No. 7 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft) in 2018 when he tallied eight receptions in nine games after a series of injuries stunted his development.

The No. 24 overall pick in 2018, Moore has three 1000-yard campaigns under his belt and has never been more than 250 yards away from passing that mark in any season so far.

That level of consistency is already apparent to Fields.

“Strength, speed, body control, great hands,” Fields said when asked what stands out about Moore. “I think he knows how to use his body to get open. I think that’s a big part of [being a receiver]. And he knows how to tip a route.”

“He’s rarely going to be running 100% on all his routes. He has that second gear to go get the ball. So I think that’s what makes him a great receiver.

Fields also noted Moore’s abilities to understand coverages and read the defense as strengths.

Justin Fields Sets Record Straight

Fields insisted that “every year was a big year” but the former No. 11 overall pick will be extension eligible after this season and, with a slew of new pieces around him, a big season could mean a big payday.

“I’m not worried about contracts,” Fields said when asked about his contract status. “I’m worried about wins.”

It helps, Fields noted, that he will have another season in offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s system.

“I think the growth from…where he was at this time last year to where he is now – I think it just is light years ahead of where it was,” Getsy said on May 6 via the team’s YouTube channel.

Bears Coaches Deliver Encouraging Message About Justin Fields

In the months and weeks leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft, questions floated around pondering if the Bears would take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick and trade Fields.

The current regime did not draft him and surely don’t anticipate being in that position again.

They ultimately dropped back nine spots to take Darnell Wright with the No. 10 overall pick. They have set themselves up to add to this team if things click for Fields this season and, potentially, do something about it if they don’t, though they are said to be sold on the 24-year-old fourth-year passer.

Asked if he ever felt the team might actually go in a different direction, Fields answered matter-of-factly.

But Poles isn’t counting on Fields to take that step alone. Having Moore, Wright, and all of the other additions — including fixing a leaky defense — bode well for Fields and the Bears.

Offseason Pickup Considered Bears’ ‘Best Kept Secret’ in 2023

The Chicago Bears did a lot to overhaul their roster on both sides of the ball.

Key to that was adding offensive lineman Nate Davis to a much-maligned group from 2022. It contributed to a league-high 55 sacks for quarterback Justin Fields.

He’s now considered the team’s ‘best-kept secret’.

Nate Davis Considered Bears’ ‘Best Kept Secret’

“Playing in Tennessee last season, [Davis] finished as the 17th-ranked guard by [Pro Football Focus’s metrics,” writes Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report naming each team’s ‘best-kept secret’ on March 21. “He’s been a consistent starter for some good offensive lines during his time in Tennessee. He’s the kind of underrated addition that raises the floor of the Bears offense.”

Chicago signed Davis to a three-year, $30 million contract with $19.2 million guaranteed after he helped block for two-time rushing champion Derrick Henry who tallied over 1500 yards on the ground last season.

And for a look at Davis in the run game, keep an eye on No. 64 in the clip below.

Adding Davis also allowed the Bears to slide third-year man Teven Jenkins over to the left side and move 2022 starting left guard Cody Whitehair in at center. In theory, one signing should strengthen three positions with rookie Darnell Wright – the No. 10 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft – manning the right tackle position.

Bears Need 3rd-Year Leap From Justin Fields

Fields and the Bears boasted the NFL’s best rushing attack, racking up nearly 300 yards over the No. 2 team, the Baltimore Ravens.

The third-year quarterback led the charge with 1143 yards on the ground. But the Bears are hoping his retooled offensive line – plus some new weapons in D.J. Moore and Robert Tonyan – will see him take that next step as a passer.

Early indications have been positive.

Bears Coaches Deliver Encouraging Message About Justin Fields

And Fields is saying all of the right things.

“The guys who were in the offense last year are way more comfortable this year with the playbook,” Fields told Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com, “and focusing on the defense rather than just the little stuff with the offense because they know it, they know the foundation of it.”

Darnell Mooney ‘Disrespecting Everbody’ in ’23

One of Fields’ top weapons of 2022, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, did not finish the season, succumbing to an ankle injury that require surgery and cost him the final three weeks of the season. Heading into a contract year, Mooney says that he is no longer concerned with others’ opinions of him.

“Ball out. Dominate,” Mooney said on ‘The 33rd Team’ podcast on May 18. “I’m not really on the ‘respect my name’ anymore. I’m just disrespecting everybody now. Don’t really care about respect no more. Other than that, I just want to win. I don’t really care about anything else.”

Mooney is just one year removed from his first 1000-yard campaign.

If he can return to full health, he may be poised for a big year with Moore in tow to take away opposing defenses’ attention. At the same time, there are a lot more proven mouths to feed than there were at this time last season. Whatever happens, the Bears’ offense figures to be worlds better this coming season.

Bears’ Darnell Mooney Provides Detailed Injury Update

The Chicago Bears did a lot of work to fortify the ranks around third-year quarterback Justin Fields this offseason adding to the protection in front of him and the weapons around him. On the latter front, adding D.J. Moore to last year’s group should do wonders in terms of providing Fields with a proven top option on the outside.

Darnell Mooney Updates Status Before Teammate Shares Sobering Experience

It should also help the other receivers since they will be in more appropriate roles for their respective skill sets, including the incumbent top option, Darnell Mooney.

“I am running,” Mooney told teammate Equanieous St. Brown on ‘The 33rd Team’ podcast on May 18. “I’m cutting. I started cutting today. So, naw, I’ll be 100%. I got screws in my foot so I’ll be a little robotic. Probably 1000 times better than I was.”

One year after his first 1000-yard campaign, Mooney made 12 starts last season.

The third-year wideout suffered a broken leg cutting in Week 12 against the New York Jets, finishing an already-trying season with 493 yards and two touchdowns on 40 receptions.

Equanimeous St. Brown Shares Experience with TightRope Surgery

Mooney confirmed that he broke his fibula for St. Brown’s co-host, brother, and Detroit Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown before confirming for his teammate that he had what is known as “TightRope” surgery, a procedure that uses cord instead of screws to aid in the healing process, according to the Southern California Orthopedic Institute:

The TightRope system anchors the ends of the tibia and fibula together with a braided polyethylene cord, rather than with a rigid surgical screw, to restore the original position of the bones and to allow for proper healing.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had a similar procedure performed in 2018.

Though, in his respective instance, he (and teammate Jalen Hurts, now of the Philadelphia Eagles) was able to return in four weeks while at the University of Alabama.

“I had that too. My ankle doesn’t move no more,” Equanimeous St. Brown said. “That s*** is steady. … I didn’t break it. But I had TightRope my second year in the NFL…That s***’s locked. It’s locked. It’s locked in place. It’s not moving.”

Mooney – a former fifth-round pick in 2020 – said that his doctors warned him of something similar but said that he felt “good” about where things stand. His recovery does take on added significance going into a contract season with a regime that did not draft him and has already gone about upgrading the position around him.

“They want to see me run and stuff so we’ll see,” he said. “I’m in no rush.”

Darnell Mooney on D.J. Moore: ‘Great Fit’

“He’s gonna fit good,” Mooney said. “Good guy, good dude for sure. Seems to be working hard. Seems to be honing into what we got, our culture, or whatnot. So, yeah…great fit, for sure.”

Moore – the No. 24 overall pick in 2018 – arrives with three 1000-yard seasons under his belt and two more in which he fell fewer than 250 yards shy. Even in a “down season” for his yardage, he produced seven receiving scores and took 10 handoffs for 53 years in 2022.

That could put a little extra pressure on Mooney to produce but he sounds ready regardless.

“Do whatever I can do for my team,” Mooney said of his expectations for this season. “Ball out. Dominate. I’m not really on the ‘respect my name’ anymore. I’m just disrespecting everybody now. Don’t really care about respect no more. Other than that, I just want to win. I don’t really care about anything else.”

Justin Fields Issues Telling Statement on Bears’ Offense

At this time last year, the Chicago Bears and quarterback Justin Fields were getting ready to install what were the bones of offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s scheme.

While they produced exciting results at times, it did not always look pretty or help them win.

“I can tell the guys who were in the offense last year are way more comfortable this year with the playbook,” Fields told Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com, “and focusing on the defense rather than just the little stuff with the offense because they know it, they know the foundation of it.”

Bears ‘Way More Comfortable’ in Luke Getsy’s Offense

Justin Fields Has Weapons Now

Fields is understandably excited by the addition of D.J. Moore to the wide receiver room following the latter’s trade from the Carolina Panthers. It was a deal that saw the Bears drop out of the No. 1 overall pick.

However, his comments could also bode well for 2022 trade deadline acquisition, Chase Claypool.

Chicago sent the Pittsburgh Steelers what turned into the No. 32 overall pick for the 24-year-old.

He caught just 14 of his 29 targets for 140 yards in seven games (three starts) with the Bears. It was not what they envisioned from the former No. 49 overall pick (2020) even before knowing where the pick would fall. His catch-rate tends to be on the lower side more than some wideouts due to the type of routes he runs. But Claypool still posted the worst catch rate of his career in Chicago.

Claypool was open about his frustrations with things not working last season and even had to be calmed down by Fields at one point.

But he stands to benefit more than anyone other than Fields from Moore’s arrival.

Bears Getting Offense in Order

Just as Moore has stolen the headlines, he should likewise take away the attention of the opposing defense.

Moore fell short of his fourth consecutive 1000-yard campaign and has never finished a season with fewer than the 788 yards he posted in his rookie season. A former first-round pick, Moore was selected No. 24 overall in 2018.

“I’ve known DJ for a little bit now,” Fields said, per Mayer. “I can tell he loves the game, he’s a hard worker and, of course, he’s talented. He’s proven that over the past few years playing with the Panthers. So, it’s great to have him; another weapon to add to our offense. He’s going to bring a lot of energy, a lot of leadership to the room. Everybody’s excited to have him, so it’s going to be fun.”

Bears GM Sends Strong Message on Plans to Fix Glaring Roster Flaw

Moore’s presence should have a similar effect on incumbent top option Darnell Mooney.

Mooney is still recovering from ankle surgery that cut his season short after 12 games. But he is just one year removed from his first 1000-yard season.

Bears Coaches Brag on Justin Fields’ Progress

In the sense that he makes everything go, the things coming out of Halas Hall about Fields may seem like standard-issue lip service during the offseason. But the Bears coaches have always taken a measured approach when discussing where Fields was in the process.

Now, Getsy sounds as confident in Fields as Fields does in the things that are now around him.

“I think the growth from…where he was at this time last year to where he is now – I think it just is light years ahead of where it was,” Getsy said on May 6 via the team’s YouTube channel. “And we feel like he has a ton more to grow going forward. So we’re excited to try to get the best out of them moving forward and keep working to where we think he can go.”

With the sixth-easiest strength of schedule this coming season, per Sharp Football Analysis, the Bears and Fields are indeed set up to outperform their abysmal (on the whole) 2022 season.

Kansas City Chiefs Get Wish for Upcoming Showdown With Chicago Bears

Without directly addressing it, the NFL affirmed that the Chicago Bears will not be traveling to Germany to face the Kansas City Chiefs as part of the league’s international series this season, likely to the latter’s delight.

Bears to Face Chiefs in Kansas City

“The German newspaper Bild reported KC would play Chicago in the Germany game, reported Peter King of NBC Sports in his ‘Football Morning in America’ column on May 7. “When a team gives up one of its home games to play overseas, it has the option of requesting to the league one home game on its schedule the team does not want moved. I’m told Kansas City requested that the Chicago game not be played overseas.”

There were some rumblings among the die-hards about the Chiefs being concerned about having to face a revamped Bears team. Despite the Bears acknowledging they think they’ve surrounded Justin Fields with the proper weapons to succeed this season, that is not the reason for the Chiefs’ decision.

The truth, most likely, is that Bears fans travel well. There is reason to believe an NFL team would not want to forfeit the revenue from a home game against a team from the third-largest market with a loyal fanbase.

Bears’ Full Schedule to Be Released on Thursday

While the Bears wait with the rest of the league with bated breath for the release of their full schedule, they have known who their opponents will be for the 2023 season. Aside from the standard six games against the NFC North, they will also face the entire AFC West – not just the Chiefs – and the NFC South which presents an opportunity to directly impact the 2024 first-round pick they got from the Carolina Panther for the No. 1 overall pick this year.

The Bears will also host the Arizona Cardinals and travel to face the Cleveland Browns and Washington Commanders. It was a loss to Washington in Week 7 of last season that sparked Chicago’s offensive surge.

The AFC West went a combined 35-33 last season bolstered by the Chiefs who won 14 games and the Chargers who won 10. Their NFC South counterparts went 29-39 and are all in a state of flux with new quarterbacks including No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young in Carolina. Arizona, Cleveland, and Washington combined to go 19-31-1.

It’s a very winnable slate of games if the Bears – and Fields – are as improved as they say and fans hope they are.

Chicago won 66% of its games at home last season. But, since that amounted to just three wins all season as well as the No. 1 overall pick, perhaps it doesn’t matter what their record was at Soldier Field; it was not enough.

Bears Sign 5 Players After Rookie Minicamp

The Bears concluded their two-day rookie minicamp last weekend and came out of it impressed enough to sign five players to contracts. Of the group, tight end Stephen Carlson is the most accomplished having spent two years with the Cleveland Browns from 2019 through 2020 but has been out of football since then.

They also added offensive lineman Nick Amoah, defensive lineman, D’Anthony Jones, OL Josh Lugg, and safety Bralen Trahan.

All are long shots to make it through training camp but anything is always possible.

Bears Coaches Deliver Encouraging Message About Justin Fields

Last season, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields finished with the fourth-highest time-to-throw on average, per NFL NextGen Stats.

This season, expect that number to come down quite a bit.

“Just the rhythm and timing…of the passing game,” head coach Matt Eberflus said after the first day of rookie minicamp on May 5 via the Bears’ YouTube channel. “Obviously the priority’s the passing game. We ran the ball very well but we all know that we got to improve in the passing game. And part of that’s rhythm and timing that’s the footwork with Justin. He’s been really working on that really, really good in terms of the quick pass, dropback pass, movement passes. And he’s really made some big strides in that in that area coming so far on his own and then now coming into Phase II. That first week is really – that’s about it.”

Bears’ Justin Fields ‘Light Years’ Ahead of Last Season

Fields’ time-to-throw was only lower than benched New York Jets first-round pick Zach Wilson, former Jets and Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold who is now with the San Francisco 49ers, and Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns who made his return to pro football after sitting out the entire 2021 season with legal trouble.

The rest of the bottom 10 was filled out by Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, Washington Commanders passer Taylor Heinicke, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett, and former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Baltimore Ravens franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson is also in that group. His time was only slightly better than Fields. But he remains the outlier, not the baseline.

Put simply, the Bears need Fields to get rid of the ball faster.

“I think the growth from…where he was at this time last year to where he is now – I think it just is light years ahead of where it was,” Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said on May 6 via the team’s YouTube channel. “And we feel like he has a ton more to grow going forward. So we’re excited to try to get the best out of them moving forward and keep working to where we think he can go.”

Bears Built Out the Roster

Part of that is on Fields. But the Bears also had to do a better job of putting talent around him. They feel they have done that. They addressed the offensive line in free agency with Nate Davis sliding in at right guard and then drafting Darnell Wright. He will presumably lock down right tackle.

Sliding Teven Jenkins to right guard while moving Cody Whitehair to center should elevate the level of play at both positions relative to last season.

It was not just protection – Fields could also find himself with a clean pocket and nowhere to go.

“Obviously acquiring the athletes that we have you know with D.J. Moore and [Robert Tonyan] and the different guys that we’re going to acquire, we’re certainly enthused about those guys adding that talent piece to our offense.”

Count Chase Claypool in that as well. He arrived mid-season and had to learn a new playbook on the fly. The Bears trading out of the No. 1 overall pick and getting back Moore in the process was a clear show of faith in the progress Fields showed. And of where they think he can go.

Bears Have Faith in Justin Fields, Process

Still, the Bears’ offense was historically bad last season. It would be difficult to put all of that on one person, even one as important as the quarterback. Or even a couple of new players for that matter.

That’s why they are taking the big-picture approach.

Bears DC Sets Record Straight on Roster, Name-Drops Veteran

“It goes to everything,” Getsy said. “Getting the team around him better, and us all being together for another year, and the continuity that we have, and the communication that he and I have. Where we were kind of at the beginning of the season to the end of the season, I think, is a lot better. And so we’re hoping to build off of all that stuff. I think anytime you can be together with somebody and keep that consistency, there’s going to be growth. And he has a lot more growth ahead of him and we’re excited to tap into that.”

Bears’ New Playmaker Sends Strong Message to Justin Fields

With the No. 133 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles selected Tyler Scott, a wide receiver from the University of Cincinnati.

Bears Rookie WR Tyler Scott Sends Message to Justin Fields

Scott took to social media to his brand new quarterback, Justin Fields.

“Justin’s going to like throwing to him deep,” said Bears Midwest scout Ryan Cavanaugh, per Adam Jahns of The Athletic. “His most exciting trait is his big-play ability down the field.”

Scott – listed at 5-foot-10 and 177 pounds – has drawn comparisons to several notable current NFL wideouts. The first and most prominent is Seattle Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett. They have a similar build, short-area burst, and long speed.

Another is former Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys pass-catcher T.Y. Hilton with whom Bears head coach Matt Eberflus is very familiar.

“While the comparison to T.Y. Hilton might raise some eyebrows, Scott is a similar player in body type, speed and versatility,” writes NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlien. “With just two seasons of starting experience at receiver, his route running and ball skills are almost certain to continue to improve and become less of an issue for him in the future. He has the speed and shiftiness to uncover on all three levels. Also, he offers jet sweep and receiver screen value. A smallish frame and lack of hand strength are likely to continue to plague him on contested catches, though. Scott is an ascending talent whose versatility and playmaking talent create an easily projectable upside as a good starting slot receiver early in his career.”

The final comparison is Bears receiver Darnell Mooney, a former late-round pick himself.

Mooney’s 2022 season ended prematurely following an ankle injury that required surgery. He finished the season with 493 yards on 40 receptions with two touchdowns. He is just one year removed from his first 1000-yard season, however; notable as he heads into the final year of his contract.

Scott recorded 899 yards and nine scores on 54 grabs in his final season with the Bearcats and caught 14 touchdowns over his final two seasons.

Bijan Robinson Praises Roschon Johnson

Scott was not the only Day 3 pick that comes with lofty praise. Texas running back Roshcon Johnson had the tough luck of being stuck behind No. 8 overall pick Bijan Robinson following his freshman season after converting from quarterback.

But Robinson would be the first to tell you the kind of player his understudy is.

“Roschon is the best teammate, first of all, I’ve ever had,” Robinson said in a video shared by Greg Braggs of CHGO Bears. “Obviously he’s a running back. But I think that he brings out so much in a player and a team just how he goes about being a leader to not just his teammate but everybody in the community. And I think that who he is as a person and what he does on the football field is, to me, I don’t think that it’s overlooked. Because he shows his presence, and he makes his presence felt. But, man, Roschon is the guy. I think that he’s the other great running back in this class. And I don’t think that people should overlook the talent that he has and the skill set that brings because I think he’s just as good as anybody. And I think just his toughness and his heart is what makes him stand out over everybody.”

Johnson ran the ball at least 80 times, tallied over 400 yards, and scored five touchdowns on the ground in each of his four seasons in Austin.

He has also flashed his hands with double-digit receptions in three of his four years.

“He fits everything Ryan and Matt are trying to accomplish,” Bears Southwest area scout John Syty said per Jahns. “He’s a HITS principle guy. He just emulates everything we want a Chicago Bear to be. … The ‘it’ factor about this kid is special.”

Jaquan Brisker Invokes Aaron Rodgers Over Bears’ Draft

Second-year Bears safety Jaquan Brisker had an active weekend. He showed support for his many former Penn State teammates as they begin the transition to the NFL.

He also showed his affinity for his team’s choices, as any good teammate would.

Some questioned the Bears passing on Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter only to double up on defensive tackles with Gervon Dexter Sr. and Zacch Pickens in the second and third rounds. They also took offensive lineman Darnell Wright No. 10 overall, six spots higher than the consensus mocks projected him to.

“We in the trenches,” Brisker tweeted with a familiar tag. “RELAX!”

Ryan Poles Issues Telling Statement on Bears’ Plans for NFL Draft Day 2

The Chicago Bears came away with the potential final piece of their offensive line taking University of Tennessee tackle Darnell Wright in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft but they still have a glaring need for some reinforcements along the defensive line.

To get some, Bears general manager Ryan Poles is willing to be mobile.

Bears GM on Day 2 of NFL Draft: ‘We Might Have to Maneuver’

“I think that’s going to play into, based on the numbers that we have, we feel confident that there’s going to be opportunity there,” Poles told reporters from Halas Hall. “We might have to maneuver a little bit and see what we can do. And I’ve seen that before where you try to move and you strike out once the pairing doesn’t make sense. And the guy or guys fall to you which is always a good experience too. But, yeah, we might have to move a little bit and see what happens. But I feel good about it.”

Players such as Keion White of Georgia Tech or Isaiah Foskey of Notre Dame would seem to be nice fits. LSU’s BJ Ojulari is undersized but the Bears showed interest in Georgia EDGE Nolan Smith who ultimately wound up with the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 30.

The Bears’ next slot is not until pick No. 53.

That is a long time to wait – 22 selections – with such a glaring need and a run on the position happening near the tail end of Round 1.

Poles pulled off a trade back, dropping just one spot after swapping picks with the Philadelphia Eagles and picking up a 2024 first-round pick in the process. He noted during his availability that other teams were looking to trade up to No. 9. But, perhaps in a show of just how highly he thought of Wright, Poles also indicated he was uncomfortable with just how far they would have to fall back in that or any other potential deals, so Wright it was with the 10th pick.

Ryan Poles Avoided Common Issue

To that point, ESPN NFL insider Dan Graziano reported that, during his conversations with league personnel, multiple teams had fewer first-round grades than he is used to hearing.

“Before the draft, I like to ask teams how many first-round grades have you given out this year, how many guys in your first round,” Graziano said on ESPN’s ‘Get Up’ on April 28. “This year we were hearing some 10s, and 11s, and 12s.”

Bears Asst. GM Sends Strong Message About Jalen Carter, Draft Plans

Now, though, Poles will have to get creative to fill at least one more key need.

Day 2 should bring plenty of surprises with the Bears also possessing picks Nos. 61 and 64. Perhaps Poles packages two or all three of those to make a move up for a coveted prospect.

Darnell Wright Sends Message to Justin Fields

Wright came across as very thoughtful in his answers but he made no bones about how confident he is in his ability.

“You see on tape, I’m big and I’m strong, Wright told reporters in his first press conference via Zoom. “But I don’t think people realize, once they really get to see some more of me, they’ll see how athletic I am. I can play on both sides if needed…I can play probably anywhere on the line. My athleticism will speak for itself, and I just want to get better and better with my technique.”

But his best line was about quarterback Justin Fields.

Fields tied for the league lead in sacks taken last season with 55 and has taken 91 sacks over his first two seasons.

“That’s my only plan.,” Wright said. “That’s what I’m there for…to keep him clean,” he said. “Amazing, amazing quarterback. And the things he does, we’re going to have a great team….protecting him, that’s my job.”

Proposed Draft Day Trade Turns Bears’ No. 9 Pick Into Potential Franchise QB

With some buzz that the Chicago Bears could be looking to trade back even further in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft on April 27, a potential trade partner might also be readily available in the Tennessee Titans.

Late Run on QBs Could Benefit Chicago Bears

“The Bears shouldn’t be finished stockpiling picks just yet,” writes Alex Kay for Bleacher Report. “The Tennessee Titans could send a respectable offer Chicago’s way, coughing up a third-round selection—one the Bears could utilize to round out a woeful defense that needs plenty of help—to jump up two spots.

“That positioning would allow the Titans to catch a falling prospect, perhaps a quarterback like Anthony Richardson, on draft night.”

Bears Get:

– 1st Rd Pick (No. 11, 2023)
– 3rd Rd Pick (No. 72, 2023)

Titans Get:

– 1st Rd Pick (No. 9, 2023)

Richardson is a physical specimen quarterback from the University of Florida. He runs a 4.43 40-yard dash at 6-foot-4 and 244 pounds. He passed for over 2500 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final season down in Gainesville.

The dual-threat passer added over 650 yards and nine scores on the ground.

This is not a new line of thinking but it does fall in line with reports that the Titans have already given up on 2022 third-round pick Malik Willis, per NBC Sports’ Peter King, and are looking to deal.

Bears Asst. GM Sends Strong Message About Jalen Carter, Draft Plans

Several Teams Eyeing Trades Up for QBs

“Can I give you the team that I have been told to keep an eye on that’s exploring this and looking into this?” Jeremiah said on the ‘Move The Sticks’ podcast on March 28. “Again, this is just people around the league who said do not sleep on Numero 11. The Tennessee Titans. The two teams to keep an eye on with the trade-ups were the Raiders and the Titans.”

Tennessee has been pegged as a team to watch for Richardson by Jeremiah’s NFL.com colleague, Charles Davis.

Of course, Las Vegas and Chicago have done business together in the past. They cannot be ruled out after trading Derek Carr to the New Orleans Saints even if it was different regimes in charge of both operations last time.

“The Chicago Bears are one of the most promising young teams in the league. Their gamble on Justin Fields seems to have paid off, which gave them the luxury of collecting a slew of draft assets to drop down from the No. 1 overall spot in this draft,” Kay explains. “The team could trade down yet again, letting a rival team hungry to pounce on a particular prospect have their spot in exchange for some additional capital on Day 2.”

Again, that would seem to fit Tennessee if they are indeed looking into adding Richardson and can’t stomach the cost of moving up to No. 3 and could put Chicago in play.

Bears Could Capitalize on Titans’ QB Need, Trade Down

ESPN Draft analyst Todd McShay could also see Tennesee taking Richardson.

“Maybe they love (Florida’s) Anthony Richardson? Maybe they love Will Levis and one of those guys falls?” McShay said, per NFL.com’s Jim Wyatt. “Maybe it gets to pick 7, 8, or 9 and they can make an easy deal and move up a couple of spots and make sure Houston (who also has pick 12) doesn’t trade up ahead of them, or Washington (at 16) doesn’t trade up ahead of them, although I think they are comfortable with their situation for whatever reason. And then at 19, Tampa Bay. So, that will be interesting to see.”

McShay went on ESPN 1000 in Chicago on April 20 and explained that fear of what the Houston Texans may or may not do with the No. 2 overall pick could make Tennessee get antsy, spurring the move up.

Again, the more teams that get involved the better it could be for the Bears. They still have several significant holes to fill, most notably across the offensive and defensive lines.