Wednesday, June 19, 2024

College Coach Insists Caleb Williams Has Crucial Trait Justin Fields Lacked


There was never any doubt that Caleb Williams was a superior physical specimen as a quarterback. His arm strength, accuracy, mobility, and playmaking instincts made him a wizard in college football. This is why he won a Heisman and was one of the best quarterbacks in college football over three years. However, he wasn’t without critics. Many felt he suffered from the same issues that ended up plaguing Justin Fields when he got to the NFL: an inability to process the field quickly.

Absurd amounts of information bombard quarterbacks in the NFL. They must hear a play call, understand the responsibilities of their other ten teammates on the field, read the defensive formation before the snap, make adjustments at the line, take the snap, and read where the open man is going to be. This must all be done in less than 60 seconds. It isn’t an accident so many quarterbacks look overwhelmed at the NFL level. It was the problem that ultimately sank Fields. For all his athletic gifts, he always seemed a split-second late on everything. Some fear Williams suffers from the same problem because he tended to freelance too often last year. Tyler Dunne of Go Long spoke to USC passing game coordinator Dennis Simmons about it.

He was adamant that the narrative was completely off base., and had staked his reputation on it.

Competitive fire may not be the only element of Williams’ game hidden beneath that shiny veneer. The coach with him every day — USC’s Simmons — is confident this QB can read the defense and play on-schedule. There will be faster edge rushers, new terminology and new wrinkles, but beneath these wow plays Simmons argues that Williams can absolutely play within structure.

“He’ll do what he needs to do to help his team win,” Simmons says, “so if that means dink and dunk, he’s going to dink and dunk. If that means, ‘Hey, I have to use my legs to extend the play and create more time to find somebody open down the field,’ then that’s what he’s going to do.”

Simmons told NFL scouts the same exact thing when they passed through campus and this isn’t the cliché college coach masquerading as a hype man. Simmons describes himself as a straight-shooter who knows his “word carries weight.” Stretch the truth on any prospect, to any coach, and his future opinion won’t matter much. One scout who works this region of the country saw the same signs of processing. To him, this wasn’t a reckless Johnny Football, physically superior Vince Young, system-dependent RGIII or tunnel-visioned Fields. Williams is unique.

Simmons has enough experience to trust this Caleb Williams statement.

In his coaching career, he’s worked with some excellent quarterbacks. He was at Oklahoma when they went through Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts. The man knows what good ones are supposed to look like. That he was willing to stake his reputation on Williams says a lot. Context is always crucial. Last season was a brutal one for USC. Their offensive line was a mess and their two best wide receivers were eventual 7th round picks. Williams improvised so often because he either had to run for his life or his targets weren’t getting open.

Conversely, the previous year, when both problems didn’t exist, there were far more examples of him staying in the pocket and making quick decisions. The trick for the Bears is working out a way to not force Caleb Williams to process things at such a high level right away. Keep things simple until he has a firm grasp of the offense and good chemistry with his receivers. Then you can start putting more on his plate. Those who followed him believe he can handle it all.

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May 13, 2024 6:00 am

My guess is the Bears will use play action to their advantage early in the season. This advantage will give CW the ability to read the defense with less pressure by using the running game early and often. So, while it’s possible, with the receiver corps Poles has provided that he will hit on enough passing plays to reach 300 yds, I doubt it will be the norm early in the season. They will let him see where, how and when defenses will fall back to cover and when they will attack with blitzes and disguised coverages. Maybe he’s advanced… Read more »

Sam Clemens
Sam Clemens
May 12, 2024 4:37 pm

Better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt, durr durr.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 12, 2024 11:34 am

I prefer to see the OL prove itself, jell, or be close to NFL-ready in the preseason, not sometime early in the regular season for very obvious reasons. Only Kiran gets a slight pass.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 12, 2024 10:44 am

Tom Waddle should be the next Bears’ Secretary of Offense for his accurate description of Caleb’s abilities. Now let’s see his prediction come true for Caleb’s first game. But be aware, if you are off by just a few yards, you will receive no credit from your critics. Such would be similar to the European Critical Theory(ists) who critiqued the great critique(r) in history, Karl Marx.

May 12, 2024 10:37 am

That’s all you got twty. Still regurgitating Fields crap? Fields is long gone. Let your life move on. So some people thought JF could end up being a good QB with the proper coaching and play calling….. SO! You think alot of nonsense, but not everyone’s right about everything all the time. Especially twty

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