Must-Read: Behind the Scenes of the Bears’ Pursuit of Caleb Williams

If you were curious about what went on when Caleb Williams and the Chicago Bears linked up at the Combine last week, then just know that The MMQB’s Albert Breer has you covered.

The Monday after the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis closes its doors is always a doozy. More so when the Bears have the first pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and are well-positioned to be the protagonist in the league’s offseason story. And with that first pick looking like it will be USC quarterback Caleb Williams, a post like this is a must-read in my book:

There are so many nuggets and tidbits in this post that sharing all of them is impossible. Hence, I strongly encourage you to carve some time out of your work day and read the post in its entirety. Getting a full grasp on this situation is easier after you read through this.

It sounds like it will soon be Caleb Williams time in Chicago

My second-biggest takeaway from Breer’s story is how thorough the Bears appear to be in this process when vetting Williams. Some thoughts on that:

  • For instance, the team’s meeting with Williams at Lucas Oil Stadium during Combine Week featured General Manager Ryan Poles, Assistant GM Ian Cunningham, Head Coach Matt Eberflus, Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron, Pass Game Coordinator Thomas Brown, and team President/CEO Kevin Warren. Save for Chairman George McCaskey, those are the most important people in the franchise. Getting all parties together, even if it was just for a 15-20 minute getting-to-know-you interview that knocks out the formalities isn’t an inconsequential event.
  • On a semi-related note, Breer writes “the chemistry between coaches and front office folks and Williams is apparent.” That seems important
  • Breer also shed light on the team’s interview with Kliff Kingsbury for the then-vacant offensive coordinator gig. The meet-up gave Chicago some quality insight into what they were getting into if they were to choose Caleb Williams with the first pick:
  • Kingsbury described a player beloved by his coaches and teammates, and also gave the Bears very real insight into Williams’s father, and how involved he was. The quarterback’s dad, Kingsbury told them, was sharp, and someone that Williams leaned on a lot business-wise. But the father left the football part to his kid; Kingsbury explained to Chicago he saw the dad maybe once last year at USC’s practice facility.

  • There has been plenty of chatter about Williams’ father as a potential distraction. The passage above from Breer might ease the minds of some of those who were concerned.
  • An interesting scoop: Breer shares that the Bears were planning to host Williams for a top-30 visit on Tuesday, which is ridiculously early by league standards, with the idea of tying up some loose ends from Combine Week. Instead, the Bears will host Williams after his March 20 Pro Day. I feel as if we should keep that date in mind when we go through our NFL offseason timeline.
  • I found it interesting to see Breer cite Poles’ time with the Kansas City Chiefs because of how it influenced the way he (and others) look at identifying quarterbacks. Poles was KC’s Director of College Scouting from 2016-18, which put him right in the thick of the process that led the Chiefs to drafting Patrick Mahomes. Yes, I know, Matt Nagy was part of it, too. And we know that it didn’t make Mitch Trubisky or Justin Fields a better quarterback because of it. HOWEVER, I feel as if there is more value in Poles’ experience in being in on the scouting process from the ground level.
  • CALEB WILLIAMS SPEAKS: Thoughts on Being Drafted by the Bears, Meeting With Poles and Eberflus, More

    At this point, you’re probably thinking: “If the Bears’ thoroughness was your second-biggest takeaway, then what is your first?”

    And at this point, it is simple: My biggest takeaway its that the Chicago Bears are going to draft USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. We are on the cusp of ushering in a new era of Chicago football. One that I hope is more prosperous than the last few QB eras we’ve experienced.

    Caleb Williams NFL Draft
    (Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images)

    written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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