Saturday, July 13, 2024

Matt Eberflus Reveals Why Caleb Williams Is Getting No Mercy In Practice


One way teams sometimes try to help a young quarterback grow comfortable during his transition to the NFL is by building his confidence in practice. This is done in several ways. One is having him face the #2 or #3 defenses, making it easier to make big throws and find consistency. Another is to keep the defensive calls a little more vanilla so the reads are easier. Matt Eberflus is not one of the people who subscribes to that line of thinking. When it comes to Caleb Williams, the Chicago Bears head coach is taking the opposite view.

The #1 overall pick was thrown into the fire from the moment OTAs and minicamps started. He regularly goes against the #1 defense in team drills. Also, the defense was given the green light to throw all sorts of creative blitzes and disguised coverages at Williams. Eberflus wasn’t doing this to teach the rookie to respect the NFL. It was far more practical than anything so shallow. His goal is getting Williams to a point where he is so used to seeing defenses do those things that he is almost never fooled.

“Caleb is a talent, a very good talent. His game will go to where it needs to be. I want him to see that in front of him, the windows closing, the variation of what we do on defense, and I want him to see that day in and day out so that when he gets to play somebody else, it will look like, ‘OK, I’ve been there, done that.’ That’s how we’re going to keep it.”

Matt Eberflus’ thinking is perfectly logical.

Williams is going to see all sorts of creative pressure packages in the NFL. That is what pro defenses do. They try to flood the quarterback with too much information, which leads to a mistake. It makes no sense to bring him along slowly. The sooner he gets a grasp on how the NFL uses delayed blitzes, disguised coverages, and stunts, the better off he will be. It is far better to do it now when the defense isn’t allowed to touch him than during real games when they can tee off at will.

By all accounts, Williams has handled this tough approach better than expected. He’s already learning to use his eyes to manipulate coverages and knows how to throw with timing and rhythm. There is still the issue of learning to use a cadence, but that shouldn’t be too difficult to master. Matt Eberflus loves his progress. Even the Bears defense admits he’s caught them off guard a time or two. Mistakes will be inevitable come the regular season, but nobody can say the quarterback will be unprepared.

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Jun 8, 2024 8:25 am

Seems he is already changing plays at the line of scrimmage. Thats cool. Seemed like the last few young QB starters didn’t have the ability to process that. Sure, they could run the play the OC called but if the defense was lined up to stop that play it was a free for all and a QB running for his life, The good QBs audible to a play going to the weakness of the defense. Some can read Defenses some cant.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 7, 2024 5:55 pm

If Caleb is the starting QB from Day 1, then this is how he should be trained and challenged, He does not require ego-setting confidence measures like most rookie QBs.

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