Watching Taylor Gabriel streak down the left sideline and haul in two long passes last Sunday in Miami, it's clear why the Bears receiver is nicknamed "Turbo."
Gabriel displayed his blazing speed and explosiveness in catching 54- and 47-yard bombs from Mitchell Trubisky against the Dolphins, a sure sign that the veteran receiver and young quarterback have developed cohesiveness in their first season as teammates.
"He throws a really good deep ball, a lot of touch on it and I feel like we're only growing from what we've already done and what we've already put together," Gabriel said. "You go through practice all week trying to get the right timing down, trying to get the right look. But when you get out there, it's just execution and that's what we did."
No Bears wide receiver had a reception of more than 46 yards all of last season, but Gabriel did it twice in Miami. Long passes are something the Bears continue to work on regularly in practice.
"It can never be perfected just because you never know what coverage you'll get, what leverage the DB is playing," Gabriel said. "We're still working on that. But just to go out there and connect on that deep ball, it felt good."
Gabriel caught five passes on five targets for 110 yards in Miami after recording seven receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears' previous game, a 48-10 rout of the Buccaneers Sept. 30 at Soldier Field.
Gabriel signed with the Bears in March after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Browns (2014-15) and Falcons (2016-17). He did not record a 100-yard performance in his first 61 NFL games but has now done so in back-to-back contests.
"I didn't even notice that until my wide receiver coach said something to me, so that's crazy," Gabriel said. "When you have more opportunities, you have the opportunity to make those plays."
Gabriel has increased his receiving yardage in every game this season, from 25 to 30 to 34 to 104 to 110, and he leads the Bears with 27 receptions for 303 yards. His emergence has coincided with the development of the offense, which has scored 10 touchdowns in its last two games after mustering only four TDs in its first three contests.
"I feel like in practice, we've been good and I feel like when you're good in practice, you're confident and you go throughout the week making those throws and making those catches," Gabriel said. "It just gives the wide receiver and the quarterback the confidence in making that throw and making that catch."