CHICAGO – Finally rid of Matt Nagy’s suffocating grip on the Chicago Bears’ offense, the team will have a fresh look at some of the its young talent in 2022. Drafted by Chicago in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, rookie wideout Velus Jones Jr. figures to assume a substantial role in the passing game.

Jones’ relationship with second-year quarterback Justin Fields is already blossoming. The pair have been able to build a rapport on the field since offseason team activities kicked off, but their chemistry doesn’t stop when the final whistle blows at practice.

To further emphasize the importance of this connection, the team strategically placed Jones’ locker next to Fields’ at the beginning of OTAs.

“He’s depending on me. A lot of guys are depending on me,” said Jones of his new quarterback. “I’m going to have their backs and do what I can to keep stride in this offense.”

After star WR Allen Robinson left Chicago for the Los Angeles Rams, the Bears’ talent at the wide receiver position took a serious dip.

Darnell Mooney led all receivers for Chicago in 2021, catching 81 passes for 1,055 yards and four touchdowns. However, Mooney’s role has changed since Robinson’s departure. He is one player that will be depending on Jones to command the attention of opposing defenses in order to replicate his production from a season ago.

“When he gets the ball, y’all going to see man, he can fly. He’s going to be a playmaker,” said Mooney. While Jones still has a ways to go in order to become a productive No. 2 option in the Bears’ offense, speed is one thing you can’t teach.

When asked what Mooney’s comments meant to him, Jones acknowledged the meaningfulness of the veteran’s praise.

“It means a lot. It shows me that my teammates believe in me and have faith in me. They know I got their backs. That feels great to hear that from a vet who [has] proved himself already.”

The Bears’ offense is best described a as puzzle. There are plenty of pieces to work with, but discovering who fits in where is the multi-million dollar question offensive coordinator Luke Getsy was hired to answer.

“I’ve been moving around quite a bit, especially in the OTA period,” said Jones. “I had a good amount of balls thrown my way. That’s just boosting my confidence level up in this offense.”

Gaining confidence in a new offense doesn’t always happen this quickly for rookies. It has been a difficult decade for Bears fans, but they should revel in the fact that this team will turn over a new leaf with young talent ready to explode in 2022.

Featured image via Randy Sartin – USA TODAY Sports