After finishing his rookie season with the Chicago Bears with nine starts, 61 receptions, and four touchdowns, wide receiver Darnell Mooney will enter year two as a breakout candidate for the Bears. Some would argue that Mooney broke out last season, but the former fifth-round pick is just scratching the surface of how good he really can be.
The plan for Mooney is simple: Develop into WR2, becoming a perfect complement to eight-year veteran Allen Robinson. Mooney showcased flashes of how complete of a player he could develop into last season, quickly becoming a starter and never looking back.
Chicago’s coaching staff was impressed with Mooney’s rookie campaign, and entering two, Mooney’s expectations are sky-high.
“They told me I exceeded expectations and that I played very well,” Mooney said via the Bears official Youtube page. “To me, I didn’t exceed everything I wanted to accomplish but going into year two, I just want to be more of a threat to the defenders and more of an asset to the team.”
Mooney brings so much to the Chicago Bears:
One attribute of Mooney is being a team player, knowing that helping the offense succeed should always be the first priority. Operating from the slot but also playing time on the outside last offseason, Mooney is open to being used in any role, especially as head coach Matt Nagy sees fit.
“Just sitting down, thinking of creative ways, whatever coach Nagy comes up with,” Mooney said. “He has a creative mind with plays and wherever I can be in a good position to be more of an asset to the team, I’m willing to take that on.”
Smart coaching can be the difference between good and great players. In Mooney’s case, he’s willing to do anything to take a significant jump in year two, especially since the starting wide receiver job is his to lose at this point. The game has also slowed down significantly for Mooney, which is of immense benefit.
“Extremely benefit, sometimes and before the play even happens, I can see how it plays out in my head and then seeing defenders body language and understanding the defensive look,” Mooney said. “It is extremely benefit to have that experience under my belt.”
As Mooney enters year two with the Chicaog Bears, look for him to truly burst onto the scene and gain some league-wide recognition that wasn’t present last offseason. Mooney has done everything and more to warrant taking a major jump in year two, something that will happen with stabilized quarterback play.