Moore continuing to make impact on defense

Posted Jun 14, 2012

One of the smallest players on the Bears roster continued to make big plays in this week’s minicamp. D.J Moore Nickel back D.J.

One of the smallest players on the Bears roster continued to make big plays in this week’s minicamp.

D.J Moore

Nickel back D.J. Moore, a 5-9, 180-pounder who recorded a team-leading four interceptions last season, picked off a pass in Tuesday’s practice and another in Wednesday’s workout.

“He did some good things last year and he’s had a good offseason of practices,” said coach Lovie Smith. “He’s a playmaker. He can rush for a small guy. He’s got excellent hands and we expect him to make a lot of big plays.”

Moore could see some action at cornerback this year as well.

“You possibly could see him on the outside a little bit,” Smith said. “He’ll tell you he can play any position on the football field. He’s not a guy that is lacking confidence, and I think he can.

“He’s got great quickness and, as I said, great hands. He plays the ball well. There are a lot of things you look for on the outside he can do.”

Vacation time: The Bears wrapped up their offseason program Thursday, concluding their three-day minicamp with a final practice. Players and coaches won’t gather together again until training camp begins July 25 in Bourbonnais.

“I feel like this is a pretty good football team,” Smith said. “Most of the stuff we wanted to get accomplished I feel like we have. We know our personnel as much as anything a lot better. We feel like we know where to put each one of our guys, know what their strengths are.

“We’re in a pretty good position right now. We touched on all the different situations and didn’t have any injuries, so the guys are leaving here with a great frame of mind. They’re going to go off for a while and before you know it we’ll be back down in Bourbonnais.”

So far so good: Rookie defensive end Shea McClellin, the Bears’ first-round draft pick from Boise State, was everything his coaches expected in non-contact drills.

“He’s got really good movement,” said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. “He’s got really good speed. He’s got nice range, his size is fine. He’s a real hungry guy and he’s very smart. I know he’s tough.

“Now we’ll get the pads on him [in training camp]. That determines everything. But I believe he’ll come out and do a very nice job. The movement and all the things you look for, it’s there.”

Depth and talent: Devin Hester is excited about heading to training camp as part of a receiving corps that was bolstered during the offseason with the additions of Brandon Marshall via a trade, Eric Weems and Devin Thomas in free agency and Alshon Jeffery in the second round of the draft.

“It’s going to be so competitive—not in a bad way but in a good way because you know that every guy, once they step on the field, they’re capable of making big plays,” Hester said. “That’s the good thing about this team. We’re surrounded by a lot of great athletes as far as receiver goes. Everybody can make plays.”

New additions: The Bears on Friday signed offensive tackle Cory Brandon and cornerback Cornelius Brown, both of whom participated in the minicamp on a trout basis.

Brandon entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Buccaneers out of Oklahoma in 2011. The 6-7, 324-pounder spent the 2011 preseason with Tampa Bay, appearing in all four preseason contests before being waived Sept. 3.

Brown originally joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2010 out of the University of Texas-El Paso. He was waived after the 2010 preseason and signed to the Colts practice squad. The 5-11, 198-pound cornerback was elevated to the Colts active roster in November of 2010 and appeared in 10 games, recording 16 tackles and three passes defensed. He was released by the Colts during the 2011 preseason.