Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Caleb Williams Was Surprisingly Honest On His Minicamp Progress

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It is easy for people to be optimistic this time of year. Every team is starting over. Last year was last year. The hard work begins again. Players tend to feel like they’re making big strides. Caleb Williams has largely been known for his positive attitude and outlook since joining the Chicago Bears in April. He couples this with relentless hard work and obvious talent. One would think he’d be commenting on how he feels things are coming along fast. He expects to handle the NFL transition well.

Surprisingly, that isn’t how the rookie phrased it. Williams didn’t make any grand proclamations when asked about his progress through OTAs and minicamps. He merely stated a feeling that some small steps were taken, nothing more.

“With all the reps that we’ve been able to get and obtain, it’s been huge. So just like today, I feel like progression-wise, being able to throw a little bit more with anticipation was a little small step for me.”

One thing that has kept him humble through the first month of work is constantly facing the Bears’ starting defense. Head coach Matt Eberflus wants his quarterback to learn what facing actual NFL defenses is like, so he pits the rookie against them in every practice. Williams admitted the challenge has been steep and educational.

“Going against a top-five defense, I’ve got a lot of great guys on the opposite side of the ball. This job is tough. Playing QB is tough. So I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s been easier or anything like that. It’s been work. Working my tail off, getting after it day in and day out.”

Caleb Williams is a realist, and that is a good thing.

He already understands that he’s not in the Pac-12 anymore. NFL defenses are a different breed. Everybody at this level is good. If he wants to reach the heights of greatness like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, he must learn to operate like them. It isn’t about how far you can throw the ball. It is about accuracy, timing, anticipation, and consistency. One can’t live on big plays like in college. Good quarterbacks accept the high-percentage throws and work their way down the field, playing the chess match.

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Chicago hasn’t had a quarterback like that in a long time. Justin Fields couldn’t do it. Mitch Trubisky couldn’t do it. Jay Cutler could only do it sometimes. Kyle Orton could do it but didn’t have enough talent. Caleb Williams hopes to be the one who finally bridges that gap. He has the talent. He clearly understands the importance of playing the game from the pocket. It is a matter of executing. The Bears are doing everything in their power to help. Everything rests on what he does with it.

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Byron
Byron
Jun 11, 2024 10:36 am

Now heres a thought, I read somewhere that Caleb was fooling the defense with his eyes. So that means he has the presence of mind to know who is watching him and making reads passing the ball by what he is seeing downfield. That excites the crap out of me. Especially since he can throw the ball into tight windows.

koolaid929
koolaid929
Jun 11, 2024 10:09 am

@Byron – they were a top 5 defense at the end of the season last year and I fail to see how they’ve got worse. I know E-Jax is gone but I think Byard is going to do just as good if not better. They still lack that 2nd edge rusher to compliment Sweat but they also didn’t have that down the stretch once Sweat got there but they still managed to be great. I understand that was last year but until they play this year that’s what we have to go on. So in my opinion I think he’s… Read more »

Byron
Byron
Jun 11, 2024 5:45 am

It’s good that he is playing against a good defense. To anoint them a top 5 is a bit premature. Being able to see the defense and read it is very important for sure. Hopefully once he gets up to speed things will fall in place. Can’t wait to see him against another team.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 11, 2024 1:28 am

BTW, a realist only has to be honest with him/herself, not necessarily with other individuals, opponents, nations, or even the viewing public. As we see quite often, the realist might cloak motivations with idealism, but behave powerfully in a surrealistic fashion. For realism in football, Clint might say that “a man has got to know his limitations” too–yes, that’s it. Hannibal: “All good things come to those who wait”–patience, as well. Now I must depart forever.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 11, 2024 12:47 am

One thing for sure, the realist should be neither giving nor receiving any excuses for his play then, barring injury. The poor weather, jetlag, and the absence of a good RG will not cut it.

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