LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) — When the Bears acquired receiver DJ Moore in a blockbuster trade of the No. 1 overall pick in March, the team made no secret that he'd be its new No. 1 target. That wasn’t reflected in Chicago's 38-20 loss to Green Bay on Sunday in its season opener.
Moore recorded just two receptions for 25 yards on a pair of targets from quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears struggled to execute their game plan against the Packers, who pressured Fields while tilting coverage toward Moore. In the aftermath, there was plenty of debate about why the Bears didn't get Moore the ball more.
On Thursday, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy addressed those questions, emphasizing that Moore was – and will be – a focal point in the Bears’ game plan on offense.
“It was definitely a disappointment,” Getsy said of Moore’s minimal role. “There are a lot of reasons why things happen. Protection could’ve broken down on a particular play for him, Justin maybe just didn’t see something on a particular play. There’s a lot of things that go into it. We’re definitely calling plays for DJ, and he knows that. He wasn’t frustrated by any of that. Sometimes, it’s just the way the coverage dictates where the quarterback has to go with the football too.
“He’s going to be a big part of that plan.”
Moore hauled in 364 receptions for 5,201 yards and 21 touchdowns over five seasons with the Panthers. Upon joining the Bears in March, the 26-year-old Moore quickly worked to develop chemistry with Fields.
For his part, Fields on Wednesday took accountability for his lack of aggression in the passing game against the Packers.
“I felt like I was a little bit too conservative at times during the game,” Fields said. “Definitely with guys like DJ and Chase (Claypool) on the outside, if we do have one-on-one on the outside, potentially throwing it up and seeing what happens. With them, they’re great playmakers and they can most likely come up with a 50-50 ball. Definitely want to give them more chances deep down the field.”
Claypool had zero receptions on just two targets Sunday. Bears rookie running back Roschon Johnson led the team with six receptions, which went for 35 yards and came mostly on checkdowns from Fields.
Moore is set to face a familiar foe on Sunday, when the Bears visit the Buccaneers. Moore had 58 receptions for 766 yards and three scores over 10 games against Tampa Bay during his time with Carolina.
The Bears (0-1) and the Buccaneers (1-0) kick off at noon CT on Sunday from Raymond James Stadium.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.