Training fields

How Justin Fields and Darnell Mooney continued to bond for the Chicago Bears

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On one recent occasion, Fields and Mooney were both determined to train longer than the other. After several hours, they came to a truce and left the weight room together.

“He honestly makes us want to do more,” Fields said. “Just seeing how hard he works, how hard he works, it’s kind of contagious.”

Fields and Mooney intend to take the chemistry they developed in their first season together last year to another level in 2022. About two weeks ago, their bond was evident during a practice session. training at the Walter Payton Center.

“It felt like every ball we threw and caught, it was just a connection,” Mooney said. “It wasn’t too much. We were out there doing our thing. It was good, it was natural. It wasn’t too much talking. Playing music and just practicing, so it was It was just natural. I mean, I loved it. I didn’t ask him. Thinking back to that day, it was very nice, it was a beautiful day.

The Bears expect Fields to make a big leap forward in his second season in the NFL. As a rookie, Ohio State’s 2021 first-round pick appeared in 12 games with 10 starts, throwing for 1,870 yards with seven touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 73.2 passer rating. He also rushed for 420 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries.

When asked where Fields has made the biggest progress this offseason, Mooney said, “You just have to lock yourself in and know what he wants to do with this offense, with this team. And him as a quarterback in this league, he wants to take over the league. He’s already Justin Fields. But he wants to be the best quarterback in the league. He took the step to be there. I have incredible faith. that he’ll be there. And his success is my success, so as long as he does well, I’m fine, we’re all fine.”

As the Bears’ undisputed No. 1 quarterback, Fields entered his second season with a different mindset than last year, when he was expected to replace veteran starter Andy Dalton.

Fields has shown more leadership and huddle skills this offseason than he did as a rookie. Additionally, the new coaching staff has made a fundamental change that should help him get rid of the ball faster, having him line up in the shotgun formation with his left foot forward instead of his right foot like last year.

During this week’s mandatory minicamp, Fields continues to focus on his footwork while gaining a better understanding of offense. It’s a system that Mooney says will allow all Bears players to excel in 2022.

“The scheme we have here, I really like it,” Mooney said. “It’s very good. It complements a lot of us players: running back, quarterback and a guy like me. [I’m] just able to do a lot of things that I love to do and just be a playmaker.”

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