Eberflus talks Bears’ Rookie Minicamp, Williams named QB1

Eberflus talks Bears’ Rookie Minicamp, Williams named QB1

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO — Rookie minicamp is officially underway, and perhaps the most exciting rookie class the Chicago Bears have ever had is highlighted by quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Rome Odunze. Williams, Odunze, and other Bears players have been making an effort to build their chemistry, going to a Chicago Cubs game and a Chicago Sky preseason game together.

As a head coach, Matt Eberflus loves to see this.

“The first part of building a team is relationships and building that bond with each other,” Eberflus said. “I’m certainly excited about those guys doing that outside the building and having that rapport with each other and being comfortable around each other outside of the football building.”

Williams was a sure thing to be the No. 1 overall pick going into the NFL Draft. Now that he is officially a Chicago Bear, he is starting to get acclimated to the city from sports outings to citing at his local Target.

Especially for someone who has been in the spotlight for a long time, particularly with some of his unusual quirks like painting his nails, Eberflus says Williams, who he officially named the starter, is comfortable in his skin and enhances the team with his locker room and on-the-field presence.

“You can really tell that he’s comfortable within himself, in his own skin, and he is who he is, and his personality, his light comes out through the inside. You can certainly feel that energy,” Eberflus said. “He’s an enhancer. He’s a guy that brings out the best in people and you can certainly feel that within five minutes of meeting him.”

Chicago has built around Williams not just with players but also coaches. Kerry Joseph and Ryan Griffin are both new to the Bears’ coaching staff. Joseph, the current quarterbacks coach, came over with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron from the Seattle Seahawks, while Griffin, as an offensive assistant, is in his first year of coaching his career as an NFL quarterback.

Learning from seasoned coaches and players like Joseph and Griffin is something Eberflus feels will greatly benefit Williams in his development.

“I always think it’s important to have, especially at that position, guys that have played the position, and I think you can always glean a lot from those guys, through those experiences either for where they were at, their own playing experience or who they were with,” Eberflus said. “I think that’s always important to be able to have that at the quarterback spot.”

Another aspect that will benefit Williams is having another rookie to learn from. He is learning alongside a fellow rookie in Odunze, whom Chicago drafted No. 9 overall. Odunze had the opportunity to work with Williams and Bears receivers DJ Moore and Keenan Allen prior to the NFL Draft, an example of his dedication to football.

That dedication is one aspect that Eberflus and the Bears were impressed by.

“The work ethic (is) number one. The second thing I’d say is how he worked at his craft to master it, and again, he knows he’s not a finished product,” Eberflus said. “He knows he’s got a lot of improving to do as he gets into the NFL. But, his work ethic is elite, and he worked himself into being that top-10 pick.”

The Bears will be playing in this year’s Hall of Fame game after having three former players - Devin Hester, Julius Peppers, and Steve McMichael - join the Hall of Fame Class of 2024. They will be facing the Houston Texans, who they will also play in the regular season. The Hall of Fame game on Aug. 1 (7 p.m.) could give Chicago fans their first opportunity to see Williams and Odunze on the field in an NFL game.

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