Darnell Mooney has high expectations for the upcoming season. It’s not new. The former 5th-round pick has maintained a high standard since his arrival from Tulane in 2020. That’s why he broke the Chicago Bears rookie record for receptions in a season and rushed for 1,000 yards l year despite three different starting quarterbacks. The guy is talented, but no one understands how crazy his work ethic is.
So yeah, he’s expecting big things in 2022. Not just from himself, either. This offseason presented a perfect opportunity for Mooney to build on his connection with Justin Fields. The sophomore quarterback is now the undisputed starter. The pair spent months working together, improving their chemistry. According Ehsan Kassim from the Gadsden Times, the two almost tried to outdo each other on how much time they could devote.
“Almost every week. Except this week, of course. I’m here, you know, helping my young boys. But we get to work every time, every chance we get, that’s for sure. Like, any free time, anytime after practice. I mean, we are continuously working non-stop.
As the person closest to Fields, the receiver was asked a simple question. How good does he think the quarterback will be this season? Mooney’s response was short and impossible to misinterpret.
“It’s gonna be amazing.”
Darnell Mooney aims to make that prediction come true.
After all, Fields becoming a better quarterback and therefore more popular with the national media only means good things for him. This means more respect from those same people for his receiving abilities. Some may think he’s biased because he’s so close to Fields. That may be true, but he also knows the quarterback better than anyone. For him, not beating around the bush like that with such a firm statement is interesting.
This level of confidence is reassuring. Fields not only has more experience now, but he also works in an offense that seems to have a much clearer identity under coordinator Luke Getsy. They’ll run the football and use heavy doses of play action. Then they’ll sprinkle in other plays that work to Fields’ strengths as a quarterback. These are all things that Matt Nagy and his team failed to use. Darnell Mooney can’t wait to start training camp. He expects great things to come.
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