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Moore aiming to catch Jennings

Posted by Larry Mayer on September 28, 2012 – 1:29 pm

With four interceptions in the first three games this season, cornerback Tim Jennings has already matched nickel back D.J. Moore’s team-leading total from last year. But Moore is not conceding his title.

“I’m going to try to [catch Jennings],” said Moore, who has yet to intercept a pass this season. “He’s jumping out right now. It happens in bunches. I’ll eventually I’ll catch him.”

Jennings not only leads the NFL with a career-high four interceptions, he also has created the Bears’ two other picks by deflecting passes that Chris Conte and Major Wright snared.

“I just think it’s confidence,” Moore said. “He’s been real patient. Once you start catching them and once you start feeling good about yourself, it just naturally happens.”

As the Bears prepare to visit the Cowboys Monday night, Moore is hoping to replicate the performance he delivered in his only previous game in Dallas. In a 27-20 victory in 2010, Moore recorded the first two interceptions of his career, both on tipped passes.

“Everybody else was tackling pretty hard and I was just a beneficiary of being in the right place at the right time,” said Moore, who has eight interceptions in 35 career games with the Bears.

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Bears looking to replace Graham

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 9, 2012 – 2:03 pm

Finding a gunner on punt coverage to replace departed free agent Pro Bowler Corey Graham is at the top of special teams coordinator Dave Toub’s to-do list this summer.

“It’s key this year,” Toub said in advance of Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Broncos at Soldier Field. “We’ve got to replace Corey, so we’re trying to find that guy.”

Nickel back D.J. Moore will get the first opportunity.

“We think he can do it,” Toub said. “He’s got the quickest first step out of anybody on the team, so we think he’ll be able to get to the edge. It’s just a matter of him having the effort to go down every down and finish. It takes a lot of effort to play gunner because you’re going to get knocked down.

“It’s going to be brutal and you have to keep coming back. It takes a lot of tenacity to play that position. He thinks he can do it. I think he can. So we’re going to go with him at the start.”

Rashied Davis, a special teams standout with the Bears from 2005-10, also will get a chance to help fill the void. Davis was signed on Monday after Devin Thomas left training camp intending to retire.

“Rashied’s definitely a possibility,” Toub said. “He’s going to take all the spots that Devin Thomas did. He’s going to step right in and do all the positions that he played when he was here.”

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Moore excelling in new gunner role

Posted by Larry Mayer on July 28, 2012 – 1:57 pm

Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub has been impressed with how D.J. Moore has performed at one of the gunner positions on punt coverage in training camp.

“He is the quickest player we have, so we are thinking he will be able to get to the edge real quick and put the corner behind him so he has to chase,” Toub said.

Free-agent acquisition Devin Thomas and rookie cornerbacks Isaiah Frey and Greg McCoy will also get practice reps at gunner. All are trying to fill the void created by the free agent departure of Corey Graham, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

“If you don’t have a big guy, they better be quick and be able to hit the edge like D.J. as opposed to a guy like Devin who can be more physical at the line,” Toub said. “Corey Graham didn’t have the greatest quickness or speed, but his effort was second to none. That’s what made him so good. We’re trying to find the next Corey Graham.”

Moore has excelled at nickel back the past two seasons, leading the Bears with four interceptions in 2011 and returning one for a touchdown for the second straight year.

“We really haven’t used him a lot on special teams,” Toub said. “He’s been such a specialist on defense playing nickel. This is really the first year we are going to hope to depend on him. We’ll see what happens.”

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