Bears receivers coach Mike Furrey spoke to the media on a Zoom video call earlier this week. Here are four things we learned during that session:
(1) Furrey appreciates veteran receiver Allen Robinson II's consistency.
While the Bears offense has experienced ups and downs this season, Robinson has continued to produce through good times and bad. The seventh-year pro has had at least six receptions in nine of 13 games this year, including the last six straight. He leads the Bears in receiving with 86 catches for 1,027 yards and six touchdowns.
Furrey attributes Robinson's success to the receiver's preparation and mentality. "He's prepared every week," Furrey said, "not [just] to come in and catch 1,000 yards, but he's prepared every week to come in here and be a major contributor to our offense, and he's done that week-in and week-out."
Robinson has led the Bears in receiving yards in each of the last 11 games. In last Sunday's win over the Texans, he caught nine passes for 123 yards and one touchdown. In the process, he became just the fifth Bears receiver to amass at least 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.
(2) The rapport that exists between Robinson and Mitchell Trubisky was evident to Furrey on a TD pass against the Texans.
The Bears faced second-and-goal from the 3 late in the first half when Houston dialed up an all-out blitz. Trubisky calmly backpedaled away from the pressure and tossed the ball into the end zone to Robinson, who snared it between linebacker Tyrell Adams and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.
"When you look back over the last three years, Mitch and A-Rob have had a great relationship in regards to trust," Furrey said. "We've run that play in the past and those guys trust each other, and the dialogue they had before they went out there, they were on the same page, and A-Rob did his thing and Mitch delivered."
Robinson told reporters after the game that he and Trubisky had discussed their options before the play. "That was something we talked about," Robinson said. "I had told him, 'If we get this look, this is how I'm going to run the route.' We were on the same page, so he knew where I was going to be at right when we got that look."
(3) Furrey was excited to see the Bears' top three wideouts team up to produce a touchdown versus Houston.
Late in the second quarter, rookie Darnell Mooney caught a swing pass from Trubisky behind the line of scrimmage and turned it into a 12-yard TD. Mooney was able to score thanks to blocks by Anthony Miller, who chopped down safety Eric Murray; and Robinson, who shoved cornerback Keion Crossen back toward the end zone.
"I thought that was a great group effort by all three of them," Furrey said. "A-Mill making the key block there in the slot and then A-Rob holding his guy up. And then the running ability that we've talked about here now about Darnell Mooney with that ball in his hands."
(4) Furrey continues to be impressed by Mooney's maturity and poise.
The speedy 23-year-old receiver has performed more like a seasoned veteran than the rookie fifth-round draft pick he is. In Mooney's first 10 NFL games, he's caught 42 passes for 450 yards and three touchdowns.
"I just think that you continue to see how comfortable he is and how much the game has slowed down for him from a visual standpoint," Furrey said. "You saw it [Sunday] with the ball in his hands and how he sees things.
"When you watch his route running now, I think that's been a huge progression that he's had throughout the season in regards to just how patient he is now, using his speed as a threat; understanding how to play with his speed, pushing his depths now, not trying to rush stuff. When you look at him in regards to maturity and the growth of his game, the way he's slowed the game down and the patience he has in his route running right now is way beyond his years."