Bears coach Matt Eberflus ‘loved’ how teammates ‘respect and love’ Caleb Williams

Unsurprisingly, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus was most impressed by what his presumptive future quarterback can do on the field when seeing Caleb Williams in person recently at USC’s pro day.

“The biggest takeaway is that you can see the arm talent on the film, and you can see it there in person,” Eberflus said at the NFL’s annual meetings this week. “That was the biggest takeaway.” 

The Bears hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and, and their selection of Williams appears more of a formality at this point after Chicago traded previous starting quarterback Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Eberflus said he was also struck by how Williams interacted with his teammates both during the workouts and at dinner in Los Angeles, where the Bears hosted several draft-eligible USC players along with Williams. 

“What I loved to see was his interaction with the other players,” Eberflus said. “You can see that, and we talked to every person that was on that [USC] 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.”

One of those players the Bears likely talked to was wide receiver Brenden Rice, who caught a team-high 12 touchdowns from Williams in the Trojans last season. Rice, who is likely to be selected in the second or third round of the 2024 NFL Draft, praised Williams when FOX sports‘ Keyshawn Johnson — a former USC star himself — asked the wideout about Williams on a recent episode of Johnson’s podcast, “All Facts No Brakes.”

Brenden Rice expects Caleb Williams to ‘ball out’ for the Chicago Bears

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“He’s a dynamic guy,” Rice said. “He’s gonna battle each day, day in and day out. I have full trust in him because I’ve had to follow him, and he’s led us time and time again. He’s brought us back to earth. … He rallies us together. That’s the type of guy you want to go out on the battlefield with and go play with and play for.

“I think he’s going to stick out the situation and go ball out in the city of Chicago because that’s who he is.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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