Eberflus: Williams respected by USC teammates

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ORLANDO. Fla. — Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus’s biggest takeaway after watching Caleb Williams throw at USC’s pro day centered on a major aspect behind what makes the quarterback the presumptive No. 1 pick in the draft.

“You can see the arm talent on the film, and you can see it there in person,” Eberflus said Tuesday at the NFL’s league meetings.

But what left perhaps the biggest impression on the Bears coach was how Williams engaged with his teammates at a dinner Chicago hosted for the quarterback and his receivers and during on-field workouts.

“What I loved to see was the interaction with the other players,” Eberflus said. “You can see that, and we talked to every person that was on that team. At the Senior Bowl we interviewed them and interviewed them at the pro day. We talked to those guys at the dinner, and you can certainly see those players love him and respect him and what he’s brought to that program.”

Eberflus spent around 80 minutes one-on-one with Williams in Los Angeles to learn more about the quarterback he’s expected to guide through his rookie season in 2024. Uncovering Williams’ football acumen and the path he took to become a Heisman Trophy winner and top quarterback prospect left a strong impression.

“Just him and I in the room together, just really hearing his journey,” Eberflus said. “His journey, from being a little guy. What I gleaned from that is how his mother and father love him very much. Very supportive. You could see his character, his football character there, his football knowledge as I talk through that. It was a really good visit.”

The Bears sent a contingent of nine to USC’s pro day, which also included offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph. When Williams visits Halas Hall next week, he’ll get a chance to meet with the offensive coaches who didn’t make the trip to Los Angeles as the Bears continue teaching the quarterback their offense.

Testing Williams’ recall and ability to process and relay back the information given to him is one of the final boxes the Bears will check in their evaluation of the QB.

“He’s been great that way,” Eberflus said. “Again, spend some more time visiting with him. He’ll get a chance to spend some more time with the offensive staff that wasn’t there at the pro day. It’s going to be good.”

Williams is also expected to be evaluated by Bears team doctors after declining to undergo medical testing at the NFL combine last month.

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