Saturday, June 15, 2024

Even Caleb Williams’ Former Teammates Reportedly Called Him Generational


It is easy for fans and media to get carried away when watching exciting college players. They put up ridiculous highlights, win awards, and establish themselves as unforgettable stars. Sometimes, this leads to the inevitable labeling of one player or another as a “generational” prospect. That means they are a caliber of talent that has only been seen once or twice in the past twenty years. So when Caleb Williams entered the draft carrying that same label, a lot of people were reluctant to buy in.

Sure, the USC star has talent—a lot of it. His arm strength, accuracy, and improvisational instincts are rare combinations. For the better part of two years, he was the heavy favorite to go #1 overall. That doesn’t happen unless you are a pretty special prospect. Still, coaches who first entered his orbit were reluctant to buy into the hype. However, things changed almost immediately when they heard Williams’ teammates use the “generational” label as well. Soon, it became impossible not to accord to Tyler Dunne of Go Long.

One scout who’s tracked Williams closely describes the quarterback as a supercharged Donovan McNabb. He believes. He sees Williams as the face of the Bears for years.

One coach who’s been with Williams the last three years — USC’s Dennis Simmons, the team’s assistant head coach and passing game coordinator — heard other players on the roster call the QB “generational.” At first, he was dubious. That’s a bold statement spewed far too liberally in today’s sports lexicon. The more he worked with Williams, the more he agreed.

“If there is someone that is transcendent or generational,” Simmons says, “he would fit in that category.”

Caleb Williams already looks the part.

People may not like the McNabb comparison until you remember he was a six-time Pro Bowler who reached five NFC championship games and played in a Super Bowl. Saying Williams is an upgraded version of that should excite everybody. He already seems to have settled into his job. Early signs from practice show a young man who knows his place in the locker room, letting the veterans take the lead while he learns. Meanwhile, he continues to showcase his natural passing prowess, which already has people buzzing.

It will take time before Caleb Williams either confirms or kills the “generational” prospect label. Nobody can dispute the talent. It comes down to whether he has the mental fortitude to handle the speed and pressure of the NFL level. Those close to him believe he does. The Bears do as well; otherwise, they wouldn’t have brought him to a city like Chicago. Thankfully, he has plenty of help around him with studs like D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, Rome Odunze, and Cole Kmet. He doesn’t have to carry the load himself.

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That should help his development far better than anything else.


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Dr. Melhus
May 16, 2024 4:58 pm

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to call Williams a ‘generational prospect’. As y’all say below, the jury is still out on whether he’s an adequate, good, great, or generational QB. But he’s clearly one of the best QB prospects to come around in a long time, and it’s exciting that the Bears will soon have him under contract.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 16, 2024 1:11 pm

Historically, a generational QB has not been a requirement to reach or win a Superbowl. Such has changed somewhat in the 21st Century. It now appears a team either needs one or a near one with a very good OL or pass rushers to win. The Bears need to fortify the OL asap to fulfill the generational expectation.

May 16, 2024 12:30 pm

BTW, “generational” means an incredible player that comes along every once in a while to redefine the position or be the best of his generation (last 10-20 yrs). I think Caleb could be special if the OL protects him. But until he actually accomplishes something like Brady and Mahomes, he’s still just “potentially” great not “generationally” great. Sportswriters proclaim this hyped-up crap every year with the next Rodgers or Mahomes! And 95% of the time, the QB ends up being a bust like Ryan Leaf, EJ Manuel, JaMarcus Russell, Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Sam Darnold, Trey Lance, Mac… Read more »

May 16, 2024 12:27 pm

@Veece I wouldn’t look at net passing yards or even passing TDs. I’d look at efficiency metrics and “bad” turnovers — e.g., interceptions or fumbles on early downs, in the red zone, etc. (Fields efficiency metrics were misleading because he had a couple hail mary passes intercepted, which is perfectly fine.) Ultimately, we should want Caleb to put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses without making mistakes. That’s what leads to wins. Kirk Cousins is a good example of a QB1 who puts up fat numbers in garbage time, when they don’t really matter. He looks good on paper… Read more »

May 16, 2024 12:21 pm

If he’s generational, then the expectation should be immediate offensive dominance and a Super Bowl appearance this year. Nothing below that should be acceptable. No rookie QB1 in modern history has walked into a situation with a better offensive roster. If Fields were still QB1, the expectation would be a deep playoff run.

We will know after eight games whether Caleb is generational or … something else.

Last edited 30 days ago by barry_mccockiner

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