Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Caleb Williams’ Leadership Already Blowing Away Bears Locker Room


Quarterbacks are judged by two things in the NFL: their talent and their leadership. Both are required if they aim to not only rank among the best ever to play but also win a championship. Caleb Williams seeks to do both. To accomplish that objective, he must be more than the talented improviser with pinpoint accuracy he was in college. He must learn to play the position like a professional. More importantly, he must get a Chicago Bears locker room full of grown men to believe he is the guy they need to win.

GM Ryan Poles said it best. “The players know.” Initial impressions during the introductory dinner before the draft were all positive. Williams came across as calm, collected, and comfortable in his own skin. It appears opinions have only gotten better since then. Several people throughout the organization have expressed how impressive the rookie quarterback has been at handling himself both on and off the field. That includes head coach Matt Eberflus, offensive tackle Kiran Amegadji, and fellow quarterback Austin Reed.

All can see the special things he brings to the table.

“You can really tell he’s comfortable in his own skin, and he is who he is,” Eberflus said. “His personality starts. His light comes out from the inside. You can certainly feel that energy. He’s a 1-plus-1-equals-3 guy. He’s an enhancer. He’s a guy that brings out the best in people. You can certainly feel that in him within five minutes of meeting him.”

“I think anyone with a brain knows that this dude is being tabbed as like a generational prospect and I don’t think he shies away from that,” Reed said after Day 1 of camp. “I think he understands the work that it’s gonna take to become that instead of just thinking he is that already. I kind of just respect the fact that he carries himself in that manner and that he really is like: I’m gonna go earn that tag, instead of just thinking that he is that.”

He’s a big presence in the locker room already,” Amegadjie said Saturday. “He’s a good leader. He’s a person that works hard. He’s always the first one in the morning. When I get here, he’s always in here already. So I think he’s going to be a great leader for us on this team.”

Caleb Williams isn’t trying to force his presence on anybody.

From the outset, he stated that his responsibility wasn’t to seize control of the locker room. It is to listen to the established veterans already in place, learn from them, and earn his spot as a leader with time. Guys like Keenan Allen, D.J. Moore, Tremaine Edmunds, Montez Sweat, and Jaylon Johnson should handle leadership duties well enough. Williams will be able to make his voice heard once he starts backing it up on the field. That is how it has always been for young players in this league.

Still, he is the quarterback, and that comes with an automatic degree of sway in the locker room. Players must listen to him because he controls the football more than anybody. They will put their trust in his hands. This is nothing new to Caleb Williams. His handling of rookie minicamps was a good example. He didn’t look excited or overwhelmed. It was just another practice for him. Every time there was a miscue, he spoke with teammates about corrections, asked coaches questions, and kept working.

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May 15, 2024 6:15 pm

I haven’t met an unbiased knowledgeable fan yet to refer to Poles as that. Nor have I read anyone terming him as “fatally flawed”. That might be biased and extreme. Not for me to say, I was never traded to Baltimore. Musta hurt the old ego.

May 15, 2024 6:06 pm

But a sixth-round pick — in an NFL future year (2025)?

Scoob, face facts: Ryan Poles simply blew it.

Knowledgeable fans are referring to Poles as a “perpetual rookie” GM.

Is that too harsh? Really?

May 15, 2024 5:57 pm

@Dr. Melhus —

There are NFL QBs that would have been highly successful with last year’s Bears team.

The obvious choices, of course are: Mahomes, Allen and Burrow.

But, you can add CJ Stroud to that elite list — without question — and above, all the others that remain.

Last edited 16 minutes ago by TGena
Dr. Melhus
May 15, 2024 2:58 pm

TWTY, trust me on this. CJ Stroud would not have had the success on the Bears that he had with Houston. Poles played it better than you would have, or me, or most of us here. As fans, we should be happy about that.

May 15, 2024 9:59 am

TWTY, trust me on this, his value was never that high.

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