One reason Jackson already knows Moore will thrive with Fields originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
DES PLAINES, Ill. — Like most of the world, Bears safety Eddie Jackson keeps up with the offseason flurry via Twitter. There’s no secret text chain with general manager Ryan Poles keeping the veteran abreast of the situation at Halas Hall.
But that hasn’t tamped down Jackson’s excitement at Poles’ early moves this offseason. That starts with the blockbuster trade that sent the No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a haul that included elite wide receiver D.J. Moore.
Jackson has faced Moore once but is well-versed in what the 25-year-old will bring to the Bears’ offense. Based on what Jackson has seen, he believes Moore is headed for a breakout with the Bears and quarterback Justin Fields.
“I know he’s a great receiver,” Jackson said Tuesday before receiving the 2022 Ed Block Courage Award at a banquet in Des Plaines. “Him and [Darnell] Mooney and [Chase Claypool], I feel those guys are going to be a great tandem.
“You seen the things he did over there at the Panthers with less at quarterback. To have Justin Fields and our type of offense, I feel like he’s going to have a lot of success.”
In his five-year career, Moore has recorded three seasons of 1,100 yards and has notched at least 55 catches and 788 yards in each campaign. That Moore did that while working with an end-of-the-road Cam Newton, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Teddy Bridgewater, and P.J. Washington speaks to his talent and what’s possible working with Fields.
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The acquisition of Moore gives the Bears’ wide receiver room a true No. 1 and allows Mooney to slide down into his more natural role in the slot.
While the move to add Moore was primarily about helping Fields develop as a passer, it also serves another purpose. The Bears received the Panthers’ 2024 first-round pick as part of the trade. By removing Moore, Poles has done all he can to ensure Carolina’s rookie quarterback struggles in 2023 and that the pick the Panthers give to the Bears comes in as high as possible.
Jackson suffered a Lisfranc injury in the Bears’ Week 12 loss to the New York Jets. But the veteran safety avoided surgery and started running again three weeks ago. He is “ahead of schedule” in his rehab and champing at the bit to get back on the field to help the Bears start their upward climb.
That excitement starts with Fields, who is everything Jackson knew he’d become when the Bears drafted him.
“I have a lot of confidence [in the direction of the franchise],” Jackson said. “We all know what type of player Justin is. There was never a doubt in our minds, especially mine. The things he’s capable of, and just to see him take those steps year-by-year. I’m excited to see what this year has for him. We surrounded him with some good weapons and I feel like he’s going to have some tremendous success.”
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