Friday, June 7, 2024

Matt Eberflus’ One-on-One Pitch To Caleb Williams Sold QB On The Bears

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The Chicago Bears held the #1 pick in the 2024 draft. That gave them the authority to take any player in the draft they wished, regardless of position or whether they wanted to come here or not. That last part might not be something that fans think about often, but they should. Cedric Benson didn’t want to go to Chicago when they took him in 2005. He literally cried because they picked him while he walked to the stage. In hindsight, his disastrous tenure should’ve been easy to predict. Matt Eberflus isn’t dumb. The Bears head coach knows these situations exist.

That is especially true for quarterbacks. John Elway and Eli Manning held out to avoid going to certain teams in their respective drafts. There was a genuine fear Caleb Williams might do the same. Everybody knows the Bears’ history at quarterback. It is where they go to die. Williams had aspirations of greatness in the NFL. How could he trust this organization would have his best interests at heart? Eberflus recognized the need for clarity, so he decided to meet with the young quarterback privately, according to Albert Breer of the MMQB.

It involved an open and honest discussion to sell Williams on the Bears’ vision.

The two sat down and went through his entire football journey, with much of the discussion moving to the support Williams’s parents had given him along the way, from the decision to switch from running back to quarterback in youth football, to coming up with a plan when he was in high school and pouring into it, to transferring after his freshman year and following coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to USC.

“I found out during that conversation that his parents are so supportive, do anything for him, love him and have been great the entire way,” Eberflus says. “And it’s really a tribute to them, the kind of man he is, and the kind of character he has now.”

Eberflus then took Williams through the Bears’ rebuild, where the locker room was from a leadership standpoint, the progress they’d made through two years, and how he felt like the quarterback was fortunate to be coming to a team that wasn’t at ground zero. And as he did that, losing track of time, not knowing he’d gone 15 minutes over his allotted hour already, Eberflus got a text from Poles, half-joking, “You getting close to being done in there?

Matt Eberflus played a pivotal role in getting everyone on the same page.

The goal of any draft prospect is to feel wanted. He wants to go somewhere he believes will give him the best chance to succeed. Williams had legitimate reasons to be concerned about Chicago. However, he now has reasons to feel optimistic. This team has constructed one of the most talented offenses they’ve had, maybe ever. D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, and Rome Odunze round out a strong wide receiver group. Cole Kmet is a rock-solid tight end. The offensive line features two proven young tackles and a Pro Bowl-caliber guard. Last but not least, he will have a respectable defense to lean on.

This is by far the best setup a #1 pick has ever walked into. Matt Eberflus helped illustrate that point, along with the fact he, Poles, and everyone else in the organization were fully committed to his success. It isn’t a surprise Williams’ rumored resistance to joining Chicago virtually disappeared by the start of April. Since then, the quarterback has fully embraced the organization and the city. If he becomes what he is capable of, people should look back on that private conversation as a critical point in a reversal of the Bears’ fortunes.

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David
May 8, 2024 6:25 pm

The drafting of Odunze further proves that support. Maybe if it doesn’t work out for Flus at HC we can keep him on as DC and team recruiter. On a real note, sometimes you need to just have that 1 v 1 time and speak to players Mano y Mano. I used to play and now I coach, and I’ve learned that a team gets spoken to 90% of the time as a team. Pull the players to the side every once in a while and just talk to them, joke with them, and make them feel like a person… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by David
Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 8, 2024 3:38 pm

Eberflus did the proper and right thing with honesty to assure the Bears would do whatever necessary to support Caleb in a convincing fashion. A symbiotic relationship is expected by both parties to be forged and then maintained for a long time.

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