Thursday, June 13, 2024

An Act Of Betrayal Set Rome Odunze On His Path To The Bears


The Chicago Bears knew they were taking Caleb Williams after the scouting combine. That was never much of a question. What GM Ryan Poles had to figure out was what to do at #9 overall. There were multiple possibilities. Depending on how the board fell, he had a short list of names he’d be comfortable with. However, he and the rest of the front office felt Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze was the guy they wanted most. He embodied everything they could want in a player: size, speed, hands, route running, A+ character, and an insatiable desire to be great.

What nobody may know is that Odunze’s path to Chicago involved a small act of betrayal along the way. After Washington’s season ended, the receiver began preparing for the draft. The story eventually came out that his trainer was former Pro Bowler T.J. Houshmendzadeh. It was he who encouraged Odunze to work out with Caleb Williams ahead of the draft alongside D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen. That helped the two form a quick friendship, further urging the Bears to pick him once he got to the 9th pick.

People don’t know that Houshmendzadeh was not Odunze’s original trainer. This revelation came out on the All Fact No Brakes Podcast with Keyshawn Johnson.


TJ Houshmandzadeh ranks Rome Odunze as the best Rookie WR over Marvin Harrison Jr. 👀 #nfl #nfldraft #allfactspod

♬ original sound – All Facts No Brakes

The one decision may have put Rome Odunze on a path to stardom.

Think about it. If he’d stayed with Ricky Proehl throughout the pre-draft process, he wouldn’t have been put in touch with Williams. That friendship wouldn’t have taken root and maybe wouldn’t have compelled the Bears to make sure he was the guy at #9. It is amazing to think how a simple switching of trainers might’ve altered the trajectory of his career in ways he never could’ve imagined. Now he gets to play with the #1 pick in the draft and learn from two superstars in Allen and Moore. If he lives up to his vast potential, Odunze will become an instant star.

Subscribe to the BFR Youtube channel and ride shotgun with Dave and Ficky as they break down Bears football like nobody else.

One thing is for sure. The young man knows how to pick qualified coaches. Proehl is a two-time Super Bowl champion who had some of the most memorable playoff catches in modern NFL history. Then you have Houshmendzadeh, who was productive at a high level for most of the 2000s. Both were two different types of players and could offer unique perspectives from which Rome Odunze could learn. His willingness to reach out tells you about his insatiable desire to learn.


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May 6, 2024 12:38 am

Where’s the sun betrayal?

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 5, 2024 4:15 pm

PS: I am glad that Mr. Poles got up on the proper side of the bed that morning; otherwise, who knows? (i.e., deep causal analysis).

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 5, 2024 4:07 pm

Actually, the Bears’ decision to take Rome was at #9, #9, #9! Caleb pounded the table for Rome, not his friend LT Fashanu at #9, #9, #9 — which was orchestrated by TJ. Most everything was set up by TJ to take advantage of contextual, personal, and social forces and factors. A scientific causal model would highlight these variables over those that were nonexistent, counterfactual, mostly assumed or given, indirect, inactive, external, and hence mostly outside the model’s explanatory power in a meaningful way.

May 5, 2024 10:24 am

Here’s a Hot Take, Rome Odunze is a Bear because 8 teams had different needs and different opinions on their boards. THE END.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 5, 2024 6:34 am

Once again, thanks TJ. Neither conspiracy nor collusion, just a masterplan that came to fruition. It happens because little common-sense things and a little luck can produce a desired outcome when it matters most.

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