DJ Moore's arrival in Chicago should make life easier for everyone in Halas Hall. The star wide receiver is expected to be the rocket fuel needed to launch quarterback Justin Fields into the stratosphere his talent suggests. Moore should also allow Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, and Cole Kmet to operate in roles that better fit their skill sets.
Adding an elite receiver like Moore also gives rookie wideout Tyler Scott someone to observe and learn from on a daily basis.
The Bears drafted Scott, the speedy wide receiver from Cincinnati, in the fourth round of this April's NFL draft. The former running back worked tirelessly in college to learn the nuances of playing wide receiver. Scott knows his 4.21 speed is a weapon, but he has to pair it with crisp route-running, eye manipulation, and acting to become more than a one-trick vertical threat in the NFL.
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Scott is a diligent film student. He has been watching film of Davante Adams, Brandon Aiyuk, Amari Cooper, and others to learn how to pair his speed with great technique.
That film study is helpful, but Scott also gets to pick Moore's brain daily at Halas Hall. That's an opportunity the rookie won't let go to waste.
"DJ Moore, obviously, being a teammate, he, man, he's everything advertised and more," Scott told NBC Sports Chicago on the latest episode of the Under Center Podcast. "Like he plays with such a calmness to him, just the control to him. And you know, football players know, you know, kind of what that looks like. And he just kind of plays just under control. But it's not necessarily like he's playing slow or behind. He just kind of plays like he knows what he's doing. You can tell he's experienced in what he does.
"And just kind of watching him, how he mirrors his routes up, how he mirrors different route combinations up with how you watch them. It's like, oh, that looks like, you know, this route, you know, I can watch one play and think like, oh, he's about to run an in route, and it not look like an in route. Or he's about to run a different route but it looks exactly, you know, how it did before. So he just knows how to mirror things up and how to make everything look the same. And he just plays with such a suddenness, and just control about him. You know, just he's just playing at a different level than everybody. And so that's something I've really loved to watch with him."
Scott joins a Bears wide receiver room that looks much different than it did a year ago. The Bears' offense has a set top three in Moore, Mooney, and Claypool, with Scott, Dante Pettis, Velus Jones Jr., and Equanimeous St. Brown rounding out the group.
The new-look receiver room allows Scott to not face too much pressure initially. The Bears drafted him to pair his vertical speed with quarterback Justin Fields' deep-ball prowess, but they won't put too much on Scott's plate initially.
From Moore's suddenness to Pettis' smooth route-running, Scott is taking lessons from all of his veteran teammates.
"Each player, you know, has their own type of style, their own type of thing about them that separates them themselves," Scott told NBC Sports Chicago. "And I think an underrated guy, Dante Pettis, you know, he's a person that, you know, I've watched so far and he's just, man, he's just smooth man. He’s just smooth, like, that's just the best way I can put it, just watching him run his routes. You know, just even after the catch, like he's made some moves after the catch. I'm like, man, you know, he's just a smooth dude as far as running routes.
"DJ Moore, he just plays at a different speed. You know, when he's out there, he plays with such a calmness, and I think that's his personality too. He just has this laid-back calmness about him. You know, when he just goes day in and day out. Darnell Mooney hasn’t had to, you know, practice, but I'm just picking his brain as far as you know, some of the clips I've seen from last year's games and just kind of watching him play. I'm like, 'Man, I didn't even recognize this dude was that good. 'And I was like, Man, this dude is, you know, he's legit. And so I've been picking his brain."
Scott is grateful the Bears viewed his speed as a critical weapon in helping unlock the next level for Fields and this offense. He embraces the pressure that comes with being a wide receiver drafted to a franchise that hasn't had much luck finding legitimate receiving weapons.
The rookie is aware that Moore, Mooney, and Claypool will get the lion's share of the work. But he doesn't plan to be a spectator during his rookie season.
"I have a pretty heavy room as far as these guys that have been there, done that, you know, have a lot of talent," Scott told NBC Sports Chicago. "But for me, you know, my mindset has always been, be so good that they have to put you in the game. No matter who's around, you have to be so good that they have to have to be out there, have to put you out there."
If he can take his early lessons from the as-advertised Moore and consistently put them into practice, Scott will find himself playing a pivotal role in what the Bears hope is their first step in a journey back to perennial contention.