Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Rome Odunze Admits Caleb Williams Already Found A Way To Surprise Him

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Rome Odunze had been aware of Caleb Williams for two years. The two shared the same conference in the Pac-12. Williams was at USC and Odunze at Washington. The two teams finally met in 2023. Odunze had five catches for 82 yards. Williams threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns. The Huskies beat the Trojans in a 52-42 thriller. So, the wide receiver knew the quarterback was talented. However, he didn’t become aware of the person until his trainer, former NFL receiver T.J. Houshmanzadeh, got the two together for a throwing session right before the draft.

They instantly struck up a friendship that went viral before the start of the 1st round. The Chicago Bears took Williams #1 overall. Odunze had to wait a little longer, but he got his wish when he fell to #9, allowing the two to reunite as teammates. The friendship has only blossomed since then. Both are already on the same page as quarterback and receiver. Odunze admitted one thing has struck him about Williams, though. He might be a unique personality in many ways but don’t be fooled. The guy is a natural-born leader.

He’s a leader, pure and simple. He leads through example. He leads vocally as well. To be around him as rookie to rookie, we’re both learning the process of this thing and both learning to be in this environment and this new setting, which is unique to both of us. But for him to be able to step in there with the veterans as well and command those guys and be a leader for the whole team in general is impressive to me and something that he’s been doing consistently.”

Rome Odunze knows the challenge Williams faces.

Justin Fields was a respected leader in the Bears locker room. Several team members went to bat for him after the 2023 season ended. History shows that moving on from such quarterbacks can be a dangerous decision. Look back at what happened with the trade for Jay Cutler to replace Kyle Orton. A lot of players weren’t happy about it, which led to some icy relationships in the locker room. It fell on Williams to prevent that, showing the veterans on this roster that he is 100% dedicated to winning football games.

Remember, there are team members on the offense alone who are a decade older than Williams. They likely view him as a little brother. Would you take orders from your little brother? Of course not. Not unless he earns your respect. Rome Odunze has made it clear Williams had done that. He is executing well in practice. He’s bonding with teammates and getting to know them personally. Last but not least, he is putting in extra hours. Word is he’s in early every day and leaves late. He’s willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be great.

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Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 15, 2024 12:14 pm

It does bear repeating: the Bears owe a lot to T.J. with his masterplan, as well as to my dog’s deep intuitional mysticism for the Bears selection of Odunze rather than LT Fashanu or a DE. Every time I see Caleb’s face, I notice an eager look to embrace both knowledge and sacrifice.

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