Bears nickel back D.J. Moore answers email questions from fans exclusively on ChicagoBears.com:
How does playing the nickel position differ from playing cornerback?
DJ: “The biggest difference is that I’m pretty much like a linebacker and not a corner. I usually replace [weakside linebacker] Nick Roach and have some of the same responsibilities. If they run, I’ve got to fill my gap, so it’s more like a linebacker position than anything else.”
Who is your favorite teammate on the Bears?
LaGrange Park, Illinois
DJ: “I’d say Earl Bennett. We went to college together for a couple years [at Vanderbilt]. I hang out with him. Sometimes when I’m bored I go over to his house.”
If there was any other position you could play on the team besides nickel back, what would it be?
DJ: “That would have to be corner. I’ve been playing it all my life. Right now I’m not getting the opportunity to do it, but I’m sure I could do it.”
What team did you want to play for before joining the Bears and how hard was it to get to the NFL?
DJ: “I rooted for the Cowboys growing up. As far as reaching the NFL, it was pretty hard, especially going through the whole college process. The classes were difficult, not the football. There was a lot of reading, usually 60 to 70 pages a night and I was more of a math guy. Once I got to the NFL, though, I’m just happy to be here.”
Are you ever nervous before a game?
Samuel S., age 11
DJ: “I’m never really nervous. I’m probably nervous before I speak or talk to classes, but in football I don’t really get too nervous.”
How has working with Lovie Smith one-on-one helped you understand the nickel position better?
DJ: “I really didn’t have any understanding of it at all. I played it in college, but he pretty much had to teach me what he wanted from scratch. I think he holds you to a higher standard. Whenever other guys are running to the ball, you’ve got to touch the guy every time.”
I saw a video clip of you doing an aerial back-flip in a Bears pre-game huddle last year. Did you take gymnastics as a child?
DJ: “My brother and I used to flip on a hill sideways and then we eventually learned that, but I never took gymnastics.”
How many interceptions do you think you’ll get this season?
DJ: “I’m hoping to get seven or eight.”
Who is the fastest player on the Bears and where do you rank?
DJ: “I think Johnny [Knox] is probably the fastest. I’m probably one of the quickest players. In terms of game speed, I’m up there. But with straight line speed, it’s not me.”
What is the best part about being a Bear?
DJ: “I’d say the fans. When you show the fans love, they show you love back.”
I know some Bears fans get frustrated that Lovie Smith never seems to get fired up on the sideline. Does he maintain that demeanor all the time or does he occasionally get on guys in the locker room or on the practice field?
DJ: “I think some fans want him to cuss us out, but everybody isn’t like that. He’ll get on guys in the locker room. He may raise his voice every now and again, but he won’t use [cuss] words.”
What was it like playing in London last season?
DJ: “It was fun. It was a new experience. The most fun was walking on the field and all the fans were taking pictures. It felt like a bigger-than-life game. Everybody was cheering. It kind of made it feel like a national championship game.”
What has been the most memorable interception of your career in high school, college or the NFL?
DJ: “We played Kentucky in 2008 and I ended a game with an interception, clinching our first appearance in a bowl game since 1982.” (Editor’s note: Moore failed to mention that he not only had two interceptions in that game but also played on both sides of the ball, scoring touchdowns on his first two college receptions in a 31-24 win.)
Is there any bad blood between you and Matthew Stafford after last year’s incident?
DJ: “No, there isn’t. From what I’ve heard, he’s a good guy. He was probably just frustrated or something. I don’t hold grudges. I don’t really mind.”