Even so, it didn’t take Moore long to make a statement.
On his first touch during Saturday’s preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans at Soldier Field, the Bears’ new receiver took a screen pass 62 yards to the end zone for a touchdown.
Quarterback Justin Fields threw a quick pass out to Moore along the left side of the formation. With some blocking from receiver Darnell Mooney and linemen Teven Jenkins and Ja’Tyre Carter, Moore found space along and hit the jets, bursting past everyone on his way to the end zone.
The Bears went on to beat the Titans, 23-17.
“Mooney made a good block and then the line made good blocks, knocking people over, and I just hit the gas,” Moore said of his touchdown.
The score came on the third play of the game for the Bears’ offense. It pulled the Bears even, 7-7, with the Titans after the Tennessee offense drove 75 yards for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive.
The Bears acquired Moore over the offseason in the trade that sent the No. 1 overall draft pick to the Carolina Panthers. He’s widely expected to be the Bears’ top receiver this season and a new, dangerous weapon for Fields.
The Bears first-team offense wasn’t done there, either. The Bears scored another long touchdown the next time Fields and the offense touched the ball. This time, it was a short pass to running back Khalil Herbert that led to a 56-yard touchdown.
The Titans’ defensive front flushed Fields from the pocket and he scrambled to his left. He found enough space to toss a pass to Herbert. Like Moore, Herbert followed his blockers all the way to the end zone. Carter and center Cody Whitehair led the way for Herbert.
Herbert needed to break a couple tackles inside the 5-yard line to reach the end zone.
“We’ve got a fine,” Herbert said. “If you break a run and you get tackled inside the five, you’ve got to pay a fine. So that was definitely on my mind, didn’t want to pay that fine.”
Those were the only two possessions for Fields and the first-team offense. Fields exited the game with his team leading, 14-7. He finished his day 3-for-3 passing for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Fields and the first-team offense played only seven snaps in the game. The QB didn’t have to do anything too complicated except let his playmakers make plays.
“Anytime you can have those playmakers where you can throw the ball five yards on a slant and he can take it 60 yards, that makes my job easier, that makes the O-line’s job easier,” Fields said.
“You don’t get the stats for the preseason into the regular season, but you get the juice and the hype going into the regular season.”— DJ Moore, Bears receiver
For Moore, it was the perfect first impressions. Bears fans are putting their hopes on his shoulders for this offense. He’s supposed to be the type of receiver who can elevate Fields’ game.
He sure did that Saturday.
“You don’t get the stats for the preseason into the regular season, but you get the juice and the hype going into the regular season,” Moore said.