Bears News: Eberflus on bringing back Lewis: “He helps everyone in the building”

Bears News: Eberflus on bringing back Lewis: “He helps everyone in the building”

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - From the pre-draft process to the end of the mandatory minicamp, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus and the rest of Chicago’s coaching staff have had ample time to learn about rookie quarterback Caleb Williams.

While he has impressed on the field, his leadership and personality is also something Eberflus has gotten to know during these past few months.

“He’s a pretty funny guy. So, I’m learning that about him. So, he’s got a real good sense of humor,” Eberflus said. “He’s really good with the guys. He’s got a good way with other teammates. So, I didn’t know he was going to be that good.”

Rookie quarterbacks certainly made an impact on the league last season. CJ Stroud was incredibly successful with the Houston Texans in his rookie campaign, winning their division and a playoff game. Anthony Richardson with the Indianapolis Colts was also successful until a shoulder injury cut his season short. With the Bears, rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent started four games, winning two of those.

All in all, Eberflus and the rest of Chicago’s coaching staff have a lot of knowledge to use to prepare Williams for the upcoming season, including how often he should play during the preseason.

“You look at last year’s reps. CJ (Stroud), Bryce (Young), (Anthony) Richardson, they all got between 45 and 65 reps in the preseason,” Eberflus said. “So, you look at those things and look at the past, (go) deeper than that, go back a few years. So, you’re always looking at that, gathering the data. Like I said, we’re going to do what’s best for the Bears.”

With Williams and rookie receiver Rome Odunze, Chicago seems to have a dynamic rookie duo going into next season. Odunze has veteran receivers DJ Moore and Keenan Allen to learn from.

Odunze has already developed during organized team activities (OTAs) and the mandatory minicamp, and Eberflus feels he will excel even more given Chicago’s strong wide receiver room.

“He’s playing multiple positions, and I really think that he’s going to be able to handle those concepts, and we all know the benefit of being with the two veterans, seeing those guys, understanding how they operate during the course of a week. That’s going to be really good,” Eberflus said. “They’re going to help him through training camp because there’s wisdom there with years and experience. But, I really believe that he’s going to have the ability to take off because of the other players. You’re not going to be able to hone in on one guy.”

To increase the veteran presence on the offense, the Bears are bringing back veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis, who played in all 17 games for Chicago last season. Lewis most likely will not play much next season, but he brings a lot of knowledge to the locker room that rookies Williams and Odunze will benefit from.

“He’s a tremendous leader, and he’s got a great way about him, and he’s got great wisdom (and) discernment, and he helps everyone in the building, not just the players,” Lewis said. “He helps me in terms of the feel for the team and where everybody is in terms of the players, and he’s been a tremendous leader since I’ve known him, and we’re certainly excited to have him back.”

The Bears' training camp starts on Tuesday, July 23. That practice will be private, so their first practice that is open to the public will be on Friday, July 26. Because the Bears are playing in the Hall of Fame game, their preseason will start on Thursday, August 1, against the Houston Texans (7 p.m./ABC).

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