What the Bears are getting in the new QB PJ Walker

The Chicago Bears sign former Carolina Panthers quarterback PJ Walker to a two-year contract.

Moore, a former XFL quarterback, has spent the past four years with the Panthers. Walker’s biggest role came last season, when he completed 63 of 106 passes for 731 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in six games from five starts. Not only is he the perfect backup for starter Justin Fields, but he also has experience with Chicago’s new wideout DJ Moore.

We have spoken Anthony Rizzuti of Panthers Wirewho gave us a rundown of what to expect from the Bears’ new backup quarterback and why he could be a good fit for Chicago.

What kind of player do the Bears get in PJ Walker?

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Anthony Rizzuti: PJ is a player’s player. While he won’t be in Chicago to lead the Bears, he’s a guy who can earn the respect and trust of his peers pretty quickly.

That’s exactly what he did in Carolina, even with his fairly limited chances under center. From Steve Wilks to Shaq Thompson to Brian Burns and Baker Mayfield – who actually fell behind Walker on the depth chart – you couldn’t find a Panther who wasn’t thrilled and supportive of Walker getting his string of starting opportunities last season.

What is Walker’s greatest strength?

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AR: Walker may be a little short at 5’6″ and 210 pounds, but his arm talent isn’t lacking.

That was evident during his glittering stint with the Houston Roughnecks in 2020, when he lit up the XFL for five eye-popping highlights-packed games. He also gave us the best throw of the entire 2022 season when he connected with (and that should put a smile on your face) wide receiver DJ Moore for a bombshell of a 62-yard Hail Mary throw.

Where does Walker need to improve?

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AR: While his game certainly has a “wow factor,” Walker is a high variance player. His highs are high, and his lows and lows — and there have been many more lows than highs throughout his NFL career.
Walker tries to do too much with too little – sometimes forcing balls into almost non-existent windows and raggedly running his way around the bag into sacks. Perhaps it’s a bane of confidence that comes with the rocket launcher perched on his right shoulder, but he’s – too often – a big game just waiting to be passed. . . for the opposing defense.

What influence did Walker have during his time with the Panthers?

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AR: Though you’ve just read a borderline lambasting of his wild style, Walker has actually been a kind of stable under-center presence for Carolina when they needed it in 2022. After Mayfield and Sam Darnold healed from their respective ankle injuries, the third-year veteran did an admirable job of keeping the Panthers from fully imploding mid-season.
He didn’t break the box score, attempted only 100 passes for 671 yards and three touchdowns in five starts, but he didn’t sink the team completely — he led them to a pair (which should have been a trio) of wins in this run. This stretch showed what could bode well for Chicago that if kept on a leash, he can be operational in an emergency.

Why do you think Walker could be a good fit for the bears?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

AR: There are a few parallels between Fields and Walker. While the latter doesn’t have the frenzied chops (who’s got that?), athleticism and creativity of the former, he can improvise and pull off some stunning throws. Also, the fact that Chicago is rolling with a run-heavy offense would bode well for the whole “kept on a leash” thing.

Oh, and the aforementioned connection with Moore certainly won’t hurt.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire

Source : sports.yahoo.com

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