Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Caleb Williams Reportedly Loves Adjustment Bears Made In New Offense


The Chicago Bears had a plan for Caleb Williams once it became clear he would be their pick at #1 overall. Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron knew he didn’t want to completely escape the types of plays the young quarterback thrived at. However, he also knew Williams would need to expand his understanding of offensive football if he was going to survive in the NFL. The goal was to find the right balancing act. Utilize a lot of what Williams did well at USC while finding other things he could learn to excel at, too.

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, one of the first goals for the Bears was getting him used to playing more under center. Like most college quarterbacks, Williams spent the majority of his time in the shotgun formation. This is a byproduct of most systems at that level running the spread offense. However, the NFL level demands more complexity. That is why many quarterbacks must learn to also play under center. Several young guys who reach this level aren’t prepared for the complex requirements.

Williams is not one of them. By all accounts, he’s loved the change and understands the reasons for it.

Caleb Williams likely sees the advantages playing under center offers.

Among them is the ability to keep the eyes up. They don’t have to drop their gaze to make sure they catch the snap like in shotgun, which allows them to analyze what the defense is doing more fluidly. Playing under center also achieves, on average, better results in the play-action game. It is easier for offenses to run misdirection plays because they can stash two backs in the backfield rather than one. Also, by turning his back to the line of scrimmage, the quarterback can better hide the football, making it harder for the defense to get a bead on where it’s going.

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Last but not least is the footwork. Timing and anticipation are the bread and butter of passing in the NFL. Quarterbacks and wide receivers must be synced up at all times to find consistent throwing windows. This requires precise footwork after the snap, which is far easier to accomplish from under center. More than anything, playing from that formation often makes protecting the quarterback less challenging. Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff, and C.J. Stroud all had great years. A big part of why was they were among the least sacked quarterbacks in the league.

This might be due to them ranking 3rd, 4th, and 6th in time spent under center. Caleb Williams can reap the same rewards.


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Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 3, 2024 5:48 pm

I had always preferred for Fields to be under center. Maybe it would have helped him.

Jun 3, 2024 11:34 am

How is Erik Lambert able to recite the reasons playing from under center has advantages, but he’s NOT able to assess, from watching games, whether or not a quarterback, coming from college, has been coached to these nuances or not? Or how well? Theoretically, a writer who spends a life looking at, watching, writing and talking about a subject, should know the subject as much, if not more, than others, and fans. But instead, Lambert has spent column after column repeating gibberish, without assessment or opinion about whether it has merit or not. If Shane Waldron is looking at the… Read more »

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 2, 2024 6:31 pm

Under center is absolutely better than the shotgun most of the time. Perhaps Caleb will even be better as long as the center is good as well.

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