Caleb Williams

Bears' preseason plan for Caleb Williams remains work in progress

The Bears are looking at a lot of data to determine how much Caleb Williams will play in the preseason

NBC Universal, Inc.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Caleb Williams and the Bears' rookies finished their offseason program work Wednesday at Halas Hall. They'll return in a month, with the Bears set to begin training camp on July 20.

Twelve days later, the Bears will open their preseason schedule when they face the Houston Texans in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 1.

With the Hall of Game on their slate, the Bears will play four preseason games this year.

Last year, the Bears elected not to give quarterback Justin Fields and the starters a lot of run during the preseason slate. As the Bears break for summer, they are still working to develop the preseason plan for Williams.

"That’s a process we’re going through right now," head coach Matt Eberflus said Wednesday at Halas Hall. "I think it’s something we have to look at and talk about and it’s what we’ll be doing here in the next couple days. I’m not going to forecast out exactly what it is right now because I haven’t made any decisions yet. I’m going to make sure that we visit with everybody, I’m in the process of the exit meetings with all the coaches right now and I’ve got about half of them done and I’ve got to finish that up. Then I’ll be able to think on that and do what’s best for the Bears."

Eberflus and his staff have created a detailed, meticulous plan for Williams' development. That has included looking at how other rookie quarterbacks have been deployed during the preseason to determine the appropriate number of reps for Williams. Where Williams feels he is at the process will also play a role in determining the number of snaps the No. 1 overall pick will see in August.

"You look at last year’s reps," Eberflus said. "[C.J. Stroud], [Bryce Young], [Anthony Richardson], they all got between 45 and 65 reps in the preseason. So you look at those things and you look at the past and we’ll be looking a little deeper than that and go back a few years. So you’re always looking at that and gathering the data."

The Bears raved about the work Williams accomplished during the offseason program. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner spent the last two months digesting the playbook, experimenting with his arm talent against the speed of an NFL defense, and creating a connection with his new teammates.

Williams will spend the next four weeks sharpening his understanding of the playbook and creating more of that connective tissue with his teammates.

"It’s just having that plan, like I said, and sticking to it and feel confident and belief in your plan, in your schedule that you set and go with it," Williams said of what his next month will be like. "Because a lot of times the biggest thing for quarterbacks is confidence and believing in the plan, whether it’s game day, offseason or whatever the case may be."

So far, Williams has exhibited the utmost confidence in the Bears' plan for him. However they construct the next phase will be vital to ensuring Williams is ready for takeoff when the Tennessee Titans arrive at Soldier Field in Week 1.

Contact Us