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Bears WR D.J. Moore saw Justin Fields trade 'coming,' ready to 'ride through H-E-L-L and back with' Caleb Williams

Moore spoke freely that he hoped the former Chicago Bears first-rounder would stay put in the Windy City rather than the franchise moving on to another first-round pick.

He's also well aware of the business of the NFL and thusly is now speaking emphatically in support of Caleb Williams, the 2024 NFL Draft's No. 1 overall pick.

"Business is business. I seen it coming," Moore said of the Bears moving Fields, who was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers. "So, at the end of the day, he was the quarterback last year, now we got Caleb. We're gonna ride through H-E-L-L and back with him, so I'm just looking forward to seeing what he put out."

Though it's only May, it doesn't need to be spelled out to Moore just how important it is for the wide receiver to build a chemistry with the first-year signal-caller. That's why he was happy to be at voluntary organized team activities and easily sang his new QB's praises.

"You've got to get that connection down with Caleb and with everybody, even Rome (Odunze) and the whole room," Moore said. "The whole offense just wants to be around each other and build that bond, the relationships that we had last year, and form it with new people."

Moore has posted 1,000-plus receiving yards in four of his six NFL seasons – five with the Carolina Panthers and the last with the Bears. During that time, he's played on squads in which Cam Newton, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen, Will Grier, P.J. Walker, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Fields and Tyson Bagent have started games. Getting used to a new QB isn't a novel concept for the 27-year-old. So far, he's been impressed with Williams' early showings.

"You can see that the natural leadership is there, the natural arm talent is there," Moore said. "Everything about him, it's just always a positive thing. Even when he has a bad play, he's looking to learn real fast right after. That's all you can ask of him, for him to quickly forget but also learn at the same time."

Williams struggled in Thursday's practice session, though, but the experienced Moore knows it won't be the last time and it's hardly a reason for concern at this juncture.

"You just gotta know that the growing pains are going to be there," Moore said.

Whether he was catching balls from Fields or Bagent last year, Moore produced his best NFL season with 96 receptions for 1,364 yards and nine touchdowns -- all numbers of the career-high variety.

However, Moore, who's now joined in a suddenly sterling Bears receiving corps by Odunze and Keenan Allen, is quickly becoming more than just the team's incumbent WR1.

"Our best players have to be our hardest workers, they have got to be our best finishers and they have to be available to practice out there, and D.J. is certainly that," Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said Friday. "He's as tough as they come, he's a great teammate and he's our hardest worker and one of our most talented guys. That's the example that all the young guys follow because, No. 1, the talent, but then they see the work ethic. Keenan and D.J., Tremaine (Edmunds), (defensive lineman Montez Sweat), all the guys that are really good players in this league, they have to be our hardest workers and they have to be the guys that are the example."

Told that his head coach had tabbed him as the Bears' hardest worker, Moore looked a bit embarrassed, but he didn't deny the claim. Instead, it would seem Moore revealed he's a leader by example as much as a top-flight NFL WR.

"I turn everything into a competition with everybody and I think everybody feeds off of that," he said.

Having recently provided his best Ferris Bueller impersonation for the Bears' schedule release drop, Moore knows full well that life moves pretty fast.

He's entering just his second season with the Bears, but he's assuming a leadership role on a roster that's undergone massive change over the past two years. Chief among his responsibilities is helping to usher in the Caleb Williams era in Chicago.

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