NFC Notes: Bears, Aidan Hutchinson, Lions, Packers, Sammy Watkins


Bears WR Darnell Mooney said that he’s been working on his conditioning this offseason after feeling like he struggled at times with his heavy workload last year. 

“Last year, I think I struggled with just being there at all times when my number was called,” Mooney said, via Dan Pompei of The Athletic. “I knew I was fatigued a little bit, but my mindset was not coming out of the game.”

As for playing alongside Justin Fields, Mooney said that he has a natural chemistry with the second-year quarterback. 

“We’re just similar guys,” Mooney said. “We’re not forcing anything. It’s just natural. He got drafted here for a reason. I got drafted here for a reason.”


Lions veteran DL Michael Brockers has seen plenty of second overall pick DE Aidan Hutchinson by now and is convinced that he will be a formidable force defensively during his rookie year.

“He is a man on a mission,” Brockers said, via Aaron Wilson of “He does everything he’s supposed to do, you don’t even have to tell him. This is him doing a lot of his rookie duties. We didn’t even ask him, he just went on and did it. ‘What do you guys need for the room’ and stuff like that. This is a man who thinks ahead. You can respect a guy like that. He has a lot of respect in my book.”


The theme for new Packers WR Sammy Watkins over the course of his career has been hype over production. That’s why the expectations for him in Green Bay at the moment are minimal. Still, he has an opportunity as a veteran in a young group with the most established track record of production, and he realizes that. He switched trainers this offseason to hire Bert Whigham, who also works with Bills WR Gabriel Davis, and Whigham says he’s been impressed with Watkins. 

“That guy is going to be good for the Packers. He started working with us like seven weeks ago, and he said he wanted to be ‘college Sammy,’” Whigham said via PFF’s Doug Kyed. “Sammy is going to have a big year. He told me, ‘I want to be Clemson Sammy Watkins.’ And I was like, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ He’s just up there squatting 405 for eight right now like it’s nothing. He started around 218, and he’s at 225 right now, too. He’s going to go be a No. 1 in Green Bay.

“Sammy’s going to kill it. I have no doubt. He hasn’t trained like this since college. He’ll say that. ‘I haven’t worked like this since college.’ We’re spending two-and-a-half, three hours on the field in this heat every day. And that sounds crazy, but that’s what your body has to go through so when you get to camp, it’s easy. And that’s been the knock on him. He gets hurt. Well, he hasn’t pushed his body in the offseason, and he’ll admit that.”

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