Monday, May 20, 2024

USC Coach Reveals Why Caleb Williams Was Born To Play In Chicago

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GM Ryan Poles said physical talent was only part of the puzzle he was dealing with when evaluating the 2024 quarterback class. He didn’t just need to find a QB that could play in the NFL. He had to find one who could play for the Chicago Bears. Poles knows how passionate and demanding this city can be. It’s a Bears town. Fans are deadly serious about it. If you’re not careful, they will chew up and spit players out who aren’t ready for it. That is now different with quarterbacks. More than a few haven’t been able to handle playing in such a pressure cooker. Some experts worry whether Caleb Williams is up for such a challenge.

The feeling is he’s been overly coddled most of his football career in high school and college. Everyone has treated him like a golden boy. It was true at Oklahoma and again at USC. Chicago is a different animal. They’ve been fed this story before. Quarterbacks have disappointed them way too many times in the past to convince them to go all in on this kid. That said, people who know Williams personally believe he has the unique mental makeup for a big city like Chicago. USC passing game coordinator Dennis Simmons explained it to Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Chicago.

It won’t take the kid long to make an impression.

“You take a kid, that, pretty much the bulk of his life and all of his high school, I mean, he was waking up at four or five o’clock in the morning and going to the gym and working out on his own, you know, organizing a group of guys to go to catch for him or organizing a group of guys to go work for him,” USC passing game coordinator Dennis Simmons, who coached Williams at USC and Oklahoma, told NBC Sports Chicago. “I mean, that’s not something that you coach; that’s something that someone has a passion for and enjoys doing it and wants to do.

“This kid’s getting up every day, morning, day after day after day, because of hopes of one day being able to play on the stage and being able to fulfill a dream. I mean, that, that that tells you about the mentality and the character and the passion that he has for this game.”…

…”Good players want to play with good players. And good players also want to play with great players who can help them be better,” Simmons said. “And I think, especially when you get to that level, because you’re talking about on any given Sunday, we’re talking about 1,200 men have an opportunity to be employed by the NFL. I mean, you can’t fool those guys. They know ball, and they know talent, when they see talent, and they know when a guy’s got something and when a guy doesn’t. And I think after a day of being around him and being in those practices, and when he steps into that huddle, not only is his presence going to command that respect, his athletic talent is going to support that. Guys are going to be like, ‘OK, we got something here.’

Caleb Williams is not one to shrink from a challenge.

People think it was all smooth sailing for him. It wasn’t. Because of the pandemic, he didn’t get to play as a senior in high school. His coaches thrust him into the starting lineup as a freshman for Oklahoma, then decided to up and move west to USC. Williams followed them out there and won the Heisman trophy his first year. Then last season, surrounded by one of the worst supporting casts the Trojans have put together in a long time, he still managed to go 7-5 as a starter with 30 touchdown passes and only five interceptions.

If Caleb Williams were as fragile-minded as some believe, he would’ve wilted under the pressure long ago. This is why many believe he is destined for great things in the NFL. Yes, the Chicago Bears have a rough legacy at quarterback. The thing is, they’ve never had a talent of Williams’ caliber. Justin Fields, Mitch Trubisky, Jay Cutler, and Jim McMahon all had certain traits that helped them find some success, but none of them felt like the total package. Based on everything said to this point, Williams is different.

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timgjerde56
Apr 20, 2024 1:12 am

@Jordo Every man is entitled to his opinion. But take this for what it’s worth. Every man has his limit. From the baseball player who is demoted from MLB to MiLB knowing he’ll never get another chance to men retiring from their chosen profession and not knowing what life will bring beyond that. Sure, it won’t be in Mommy’s(correct use of the word by the way) arms, but it might be in his wife’s arms. Overwhelming, inappropriate emotion happens to us all. People break down and cry because they dropped their groceries in the driveway after a long day at… Read more »

Jordo
Jordo
Apr 19, 2024 3:35 pm

plenty of good reasons for a man to cry but losing a football game and crying in mommies arms is not one of them. Football is a tough sport. If there is no crying in baseball then there is definitely no crying in football

timgjerde56
Apr 19, 2024 10:33 am

@barry_mccockiner Not if you’re just being polite and he bites your head off. You’re absolutely correct. But at the same time, don’t get so literal. The point is, make sure you’re talking football and it’s relevant to the situation. Don’t be a dumb ass trying make him lighten up like a clown. He has his process. Let him be what he has to be to succeed. All professionals do that. I’ll bet no one tried to play tag with Kobe, MJ, or even Mahomes on game day to lighten the mood. The person saying that didn’t say he was impolite,… Read more »

timgjerde56
Apr 19, 2024 10:23 am

@Jordo I’m sure there will be a groupie available for comfort. Mommy won’t do…lol. Get real, that’s old news and highly irrelevant. Do you have multiple examples of the same thing or after going 2-3 in the past five games. The first win was in 3OT, Caleb got it done. The second win as eked out by 1 point. By the time the fiasco with Notre Dame, Utah and Washington happened not a man on this planet would feel good about how things were going. Did he overreact, probably. Was it because he wasn’t tough? I don’t think you win… Read more »

Jim Jones
Apr 18, 2024 7:26 pm

Can’t wait. Final week! Thank you Lovie Smith and Carolina.

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