Bears News: Waldron says Caleb Williams has a “championship mindset”

Bears News: Waldron says Caleb Williams has a “championship mindset”

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears have concluded their rookie minicamp, and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron liked what he saw. From the time he first spoke with head coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles, he could see their vision for this team.

Now, Waldron is seeing that vision come into focus through the various acquisitions Chicago has had through free agency, trades, and the NFL Draft, as well as how the Bears’ rookie class will impact the team.

“From the day I began meeting with Coach Flus and Ryan (Poles) there, I thought the clear connection and the clear vision they had of where they wanted to keep going with this program felt comfortable, felt really clear, and there was good open and honest communication throughout the process because it was a process,” Waldron said. “We were able to arrive at the spot we’re at today with adding some talented players, adding players through the draft, all the things you do this time of year, and we are excited to move forward with it.”

The highlights of Chicago’s rookie class are quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Rome Odunze. But, the Bears spent a lot of time in the offseason building their offense to enable Williams to succeed and for Odunze to learn from talented veterans.

With all of the pieces in place, Waldron envisions Chicago’s offense as being explosive by maximizing the strengths of everyone on the roster.

“For us on offense, we want to be able to be multiple on offense, and so, with the addition of the wide receivers, having three receivers, two great established vets, we got other young guys that are up and coming on the roster, it just allows us to continue to be multiple, allows us on a week-by-week basis, see what might be a matchup advantage or something that we can look to lean heavier towards and with that, with Cole (Kmet) and Gerald (Everett) and the other tight ends and (Khari Blasingame) at fullback, we got a lot of different pieces that we can utilize and so, for us right now, this is the time of year where we’re trying to figure out how’s everyone going to carve out their own individual role for this 2024 offense and the more good players you can surround yourself with, the better you’re going to be as a coach obviously,” Waldron said.

“So, it’s been a tremendous offseason of being able to do that and add different pieces and then the guys that are returning, they’re continuing to learn and grow and become better players as well. So, it’ll be fun to have all these different players and figuring out what their roles will be for that season.”

Williams is essential to Waldron’s plan for the offense because for the offense to succeed, Williams must learn and become an NFL-caliber quarterback ready by week one, which will be on Sunday, Sept. 8, when the Bears face off against the Tennessee Titans (Noon / FOX). Tennessee’s defense was in the middle of the pack last season, so it should offer Williams and the rest of the Bears’ offense an excellent opportunity to adjust to playing together in an NFL game.

From what he has seen at rookie minicamp, Waldron is quite impressed with Williams and his performance thus far.

“His arm talent and his ability to put the ball where it needs to be, that’s evident from day one and now it’s about (continuing) to learn and progress and keep moving forward with our system. But, the arm talent and what he’s able to do is fun to watch,” Waldron said. “The one thing Caleb’s shown is that he can be in all sorts of backfield alignments; (he) did a great job at his Pro Day. He’s played quarterback his whole life. I think the biggest thing will be just the footwork and really mastering that first step from under center, something that he’s taken pride in already and really gotten a jump on here in this rookie minicamp.

"But, like I said, he’s played the position his whole life just like these other guys have. So, I think there’s a good, natural transition and wasn’t something where we’re starting from total scratch right here with the drops and with the footwork at the quarterback spot.”

In addition to his talent on the field, Waldron and the Bears coaching staff are excited about Williams’ mentality as a player. He is already making his presence felt in the locker room and has proved himself to have a “championship mindset.”

“You see the competitor, the championship mindset where he’s going to be at his best no matter the situation around him and keep playing … that ability, regardless (of) what’s going on with the external noise or the situation within the game, to play every play as its own individual snap, he demonstrated that,” Waldron said.

Williams and the rest of the Bears will have ample opportunity to showcase their talent. With Chicago’s official schedule coming out, it was revealed that the Bears will be featured in live primetime games, including their London game on Oct. 10 (8:30 a.m./NFL Network) and a Thanksgiving matchup against the Detroit Lions (11:30 a.m./CBS).

They will also once again finish the regular season against the Green Bay Packers, with the date and time to be determined. Last season, in that matchup, the Bears were already eliminated from the playoffs while the Packers were vying for a playoff spot.

Williams and everyone else on the Bears will try to ensure that this time, Chicago already has its playoff spot clinched.

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