Caleb Williams

Here's what the Bears learned about Caleb Williams from teammates, Kilff Kingsbury and themselves: report

Albert Breer reports the Bears' findings from Caleb Williams and his father, Carl

NBC Universal, Inc.

There's no question the Bears are working around the clock at Halas Hall to try and figure out what to do with the No. 1 pick and Justin Fields.

Caleb Williams is the name widely attached to the Bears in that regard. It appears just about everybody under the sun believes the Bears will trade Fields and draft Williams.

But to come to that conclusion, the Bears had to learn a lot about Williams. He's widely considered a generational talent at quarterback. But character goes a long way in the Bears' front office, too.

Here's what the Bears learned about Williams from teammates, Kilff Kingsbury and themselves, according to a recent story from NFL insider Albert Breer.

"In dispatching his scouts to all-star games, Poles directed evaluators to ask about the 2022 Heisman winner when they interviewed Oklahoma Sooners or USC players, or others who crossed paths with Williams," Breer wrote. "The returns there were good. Sometimes, you can get awkward pauses, if players are lukewarm on teammates they’re asked about. It was the opposite in this case. The mention of Williams’s name brought about a lot of smiles."

Questions of Williams' character and leadership arose as scouts and pundits placed him on a pedestal.

But the Bears did their research. According to Breer, a group featuring Matt Eberflus, Ryan Poles, Shane Waldron, Thomas Brown and Kevin Warren met with Williams at 10:40 p.m. on Wednesday at the NFL combine.

They got the chance to speak with Williams for themselves. They asked him questions about his abilities while testing him by regurgitating plays from earlier in their interview. They pulled out the stops on their potential next quarterback.

And they came away with positive results.

"What they saw from Williams in that setting was an easy confidence, and a player who was not concerned much with what other people thought of him," Breer wrote. "That last part is key because the Bears have tried to drill down on making sure the person they pick first can handle the pressure and spotlight of the Chicago market.

"Williams checked that box."

How about Williams' father, Carl?

Williams doesn't possess a formidable business team, not even an NFLPA-approved agent. Williams has a few people working for him in his corner, including his family and, mostly, his father.

Williams' team advised him not to throw at the combine, which is a common move for the draft's top prospects. But he also declined to complete medical examinations for each team, an unprecedented move that some pointed hastily towards.

But all Williams was trying to do was avoid the redundancy of meeting with every team's doctor. As he said at the combine, "only one team" can draft him. He will do medical examinations with the Bears and teams in the possibility of drafting him.

But again, some outsiders took this as a dramatic, entitled move from the consensus No. 1 pick. And yet again, the Bears did their research.

A crucial piece of that research was interviewing then USC quarterbacks coach, now Commanders offensive coordinator, Kliff Kingsbury, about the quarterback he worked closest to last season. Here's what Breer reports the Bears learned their time speaking with him.

"In interviewing then-USC assistant Kliff Kingsbury for their offensive coordinator job in Los Angeles in January, the Bears did a ton of fact-finding," Breer wrote. "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."

It appears, from Breer's reporting, that the rumors and thoughts about Williams' and his father's character were just hearsay. But the real question is this --- how do the Bears truly feel about Williams? Breer threw this in there, too, to answer that question.

"The Bears have been aggressive in getting answers on Williams, who they see as a unique talent who has separated himself from the rest of the quarterbacks."

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.

Contact Us