DJ Moore

DJ Moore reveals how Caleb Williams can win over locker room after Justin Fields trade

DJ Moore doesn't want Caleb Williams worrying about Justin Fields' "legacy"

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DJ Moore wanted Justin Fields to remain the quarterback of the Bears, but the star wide receiver always knew a quarterback change was a possibility, with the Bears owning the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

So when the Bears called Moore on Saturday to notify him that they were trading Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick, the 26-year-old took it in stride and is ready to embrace whoever fills Fields' shoes.

"Whoever we get, I’m going to be excited to work with them," Moore told 670 The Score's Mully and Haugh on Thursday. "Business is business. Nobody wanted [Justin Fields] mto go. But at the end of the day, that’s what the organization made the plans to do.”

The Bears' quarterback plans revolve around USC star Caleb Williams, who likely cemented his spot as the No. 1 pick after a productive few days with the Bears' decision-makers at his pro day in Los Angeles.

Gaining the respect of a locker room that was extremely vocal in its support of Fields will be a tall task for the 22-year-old Williams, but as long as he's authentic and works hard, the Bears vets will back him.

"I hope he just comes in and gets ready to work," Moore said. "You can't worry about the legacy of Justin Fields. You got to go out there and worry (about your own thing)."

On Wednesday, Cornerback Jaylon Johnson echoed a similar sentiment on "Up and Adams with Kay Adams," noting that he plans to push Williams in practice to ensure he reaches his potential.

"You just humble yourself coming into the building," Johnson told Adams. "You can't bring that Hollywood stuff into the building especially with guys who have played the game at a high level for consecutive years -- myself, Tremaine [Edmunds], TJ [Edwards], Keenan Allen. We going to see through that. What you did in college, the Hollywood, it's like nah, you gotta prove yourself. That stuff, like, that doesn't matter.

"You gotta get to know him, too. I think there's a fine line between trying to prove a point to him but you also gotta get to know him. Because at the end of the day, we want him to be the absolute best he can be. That's what we're bringing him in for to win games. I think truly just learning who he is as a person and learning him deeper than all the Hollywood stuff you see, but actually trying to learn and get to know him and then knowing from there what pushes him. If it is trash talk, if trash talk makes him crumble, then I mean, I feel like we gotta push that button because people in the game, they're gonna push that button. Depending on whatever it is that he needs to be pushed at, that's our job and that's our duty as his teammates to make him better to strengthen his weaknesses."

Most of the most vocal Fields supporters saw the writing on the wall and have been bracing for change at the quarterback position.

The Bears' veterans loved and respected Fields. But they understand that general manager Ryan Poles is making a change because he believes it will lead to more wins. The veterans in the Bears' locker room understand their role in ensuring Williams reaches his potential, and Williams knows he will have to earn the locker room's respect to eventually lead it.

“I wouldn’t say I feel as I necessarily need to make a jump," Williams said at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine when asked if he needed to change his leadership style in the NFL. "There’s small things that you may need to correct or adapt to going into an NFL locker room where I’m 22 and people have kids and they are ranging on 35 and things like that. I would say just adapting to the situation, understanding what the team needs from me and going about it that way.”

Barring an unforeseen red flag, the Bears will select Williams at No. 1 overall on April 25. He'll enter a locker room that backed Fields but also believes it has all the pieces in place to contend immediately, with Williams being the missing link.

Moore, Johnson, and the rest of the Bears' veterans see what they are building in Chicago and understand Williams' essential place in that vision.

So don't expect any locker room drama for a Bears' team that will have playoff expectations in 2024.

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