Thursday, June 13, 2024

Caleb Williams Was Reportedly Even Smarter Than Bears Expected

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The Chicago Bears already knew Caleb Williams was a unique physical specimen. He had a rocket right arm but the rare ability to alternate the speed of his throws. His accuracy was consistent, regardless of what angle he threw from. On top of that, he’s a good athlete. Williams might not be a speed freak like Justin Fields, but he is plenty fast enough to make defenses pay on the ground. None of that was a concern for GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus. What they needed to know was how the quarterback operated between the ears.

Playing quarterback in the NFL is the most challenging job in professional sports. So much information must be processed at high speeds before and after the snap. This was one of the problems that emerged with Fields. For all of his astounding physical talents, he always seemed a split-second late in determining what defenses were doing. If the Bears were going to take Williams, they had to find out how he absorbed and retained information. So they hatched a plan during their first meeting at the scouting combine, according to Albert Breer of the MMQB.

It went better than expected.

Williams strode easily into the room on that Wednesday night, at 10:40 p.m. Chicago, for its part, doesn’t have a room that’s trying to break a guy in those 15 minutes to see how he reacts. The atmosphere was relaxed. The Bears started with Waldron and the coaches teaching Williams a concept from the team’s new playbook. They went through some of Williams’s tougher moments at USC, to see if he’d take ownership for them. Then, they settled into normal conversation.

“You just recognized that he’s easy to talk to,” Eberflus says. “Personality is there. He’s a guy’s guy. He’s gonna fit in with his teammates.”

At the end of the session, with Poles, Eberflus, Cunningham, Waldron, team president Kevin Warren and pass-game coordinator Thomas Brown watching, the Bears asked that he teach the play they’d given him back to them. Williams did that with ease.

Caleb Williams is known for being thirsty for knowledge.

He always asks questions and seeks opportunities to improve. This is one of the reasons he stole the starting job from Spencer Rattler as a freshman at Oklahoma and is a big reason he won the Heisman trophy in 2022. Preparation is a huge part of Williams’ success. This is something that has persisted since he was in high school. Williams wants to be great. That is why he tries to model his game after guys like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes. Those three are the unquestioned greatest quarterbacks to play the sport for the past decade.

One can only hope that his brain is ready to get tested. Caleb Williams won’t be seeing any PAC-12 defenses in the NFL. It will be lots of complexity, disguised coverages, and delayed blitzes. Every game will be like what he experienced at Notre Dame. Is he ready for that challenge? The Bears think so. They see a young man ready and willing to chase greatness. He has the body and mind to get there. They’ve set him up with a strong supporting cast and competent coaching staff. It is his show now.

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Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 10, 2024 1:10 pm

Caleb apparently possesses, even at a relatively young age, four types of maturity: physical, mental, emotional, and social. Such speaks well for him, especially at the QB position.

Jim Jones
May 10, 2024 7:26 am

Thirsty like TGena for John Lynch.

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