Bears News: Mooney gives update on Claypool, thoughts on Bagent

Bears News: Mooney gives update on Claypool, thoughts on Bagent

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - It would be putting it mildly to say that the Bears’ receiving unit last year was quite a disappointment. Third-year receiver Darnell Mooney led all Bears receivers in receiving, and he missed the last five games of the season due to a torn ACL. Running back David Montgomery was fourth last year in receiving and is now playing for the Detroit Lions.

The addition of receiver DJ Moore in the offseason was a necessity for the team to improve, as well as to help quarterback Justin Fields develop.

According to Mooney, the receiver unit as a whole has been making some good strides in camp, and the preseason games have also helped.

“I feel like we’ve been doing some good things,” Mooney stated. “(We just) have to find ways to complement the run game and, I mean, that’s something that we have to do in live action and see how that feels out. So, within this preseason game, I think we’ll get a taste of that.”

DJ Moore is not the only new addition at wide receiver since the beginning of last season. Receiver Chase Claypool was acquired in a trade midway through last season, which sent the No. 32 overall pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers, which they subsequently used to draft cornerback Joey Porter Jr. This was a big risk for the Bears, but also serves as one last chance for Claypool to show what he is capable of. Injuries have been getting in the way quite a bit, but Mooney is confident that when Claypool is able to return that he will have a positive impact on the team right away.

“He’s vocal with certain routes, and the way he thinks, you know, can help and why are we doing certain things,” Mooney explained regarding Claypool. “He’s still asking questions, learning the playbook and everything, and he always has a play sheet in his hand as if he’s still in on a certain play. So, whenever he gets back, he’ll be ready for sure.”

Mooney has some concerns of his own to think about. With the addition of Moore, a player with a similar skill set to that of Mooney, his place with the team seems to be in a bit of jeopardy. Furthermore, he is entering the last year of his rookie contract, which gives him a total of nearly $3 million. If he does not sign an extension or receive a new contract, he will most likely become a free agent in the offseason.

This is not something Mooney concerns himself with, though.

“I don’t really worry about (the) contract, man. I’m a professional at football, and (I) let my agent be a professional at contracts,” Mooney stated. “So, I don’t really worry about it. Whatever gets done, it gets done.”

Getting tips and pointers from a Bears legend like Matt Forte certainly helps. Forte and Mooney went to the same college, Tulane, and thus have been in contact for quite some time. They also saw each other when Forte stopped by Halas Hall after training camp on Wednesday. The elite running back has given Mooney a lot of advice over the years, primarily dealing with conditioning.

“Things around the city, things I need from, like, body-wise, and things I can do like, I asked him what he’d do for, like, his conditioning,” Mooney said. “He’s a guy I look to for support, for sure.”

He may still be preparing for the upcoming season, but that does not mean that he is not paying attention to the Bears players in the preseason. One player that truly stood out so far this preseason, particularly in the loss against the Indianapolis Colts, was quarterback Tyson Bagent.

If he keeps up his current performance, he may just earn himself a spot as the backup quarterback to Fields.

“He was electric, like, just looking at him, you know, with the quick game. He was getting the ball out,” Mooney explained of Bagent. “Wherever he wanted to go, that’s where he was going. He wasn’t indecisive. He was very understanding of what he wanted to do, you know. It was beautiful to watch.”

The final preseason game for Chicago will be on Saturday, August 26, against the Buffalo Bills (12 p.m./FOX 32).

Then, the regular season will kick off against their historic rivals, the Green Bay Packers, in Soldier Field on Sunday, September 10 (3:25 p.m./FOX).

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