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Caleb Williams’ precision, aura shine on Day 1 of Bears rookie minicamp – NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The first day of the next era of Bears football officially arrived Friday when quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Rome Odunze took the field at Halas Hall on the first day of rookie minicamp.

Williams and Odunze have already begun to develop their chemistry off campus, but the work that began Friday will hopefully accelerate the bond that the Bears hope will be the backbone of an era of narrative change.

“There are definitely things you can build in a me and him relationship,” Odunze said of the importance of the two-day minicamp for him and Williams. “But when you look at the offense as a whole, it’s the setup and the things that you learn together and communicate on together. As a wide receiver and a quarterback, of course we can go out and building chemistry on timing He can see where he wants to throw the ball based on my route speed and the different things I’m doing there As far as setting up the offense, it’s. why we are here today.

There’s not much to be gained from practicing in shorts in May against a defense filled with undrafted rookies hoping to prove their worth and earn an invitation to training camp.

But Williams and Odunze were up to the task Friday at Halas Hall. Williams was on time and accurate with almost every pass during the 7-on-7 game of the day. That included eight completions for Odunze, who moved all over the court on the first day of rookie minicamp.

Even the rehearsals that weren’t perfect worked in the new duo’s favor.

At one point during the 7-on-7 period, Odunze found himself stuck coming out of his break, forcing Williams to move out of the pocket and buy time before hitting him along the sideline for a gain of 18 to 20 yards. It was the type of off-script play from Williams and improvisation from Odunze that the Bears hope to see on Sundays, even if it’s not expected to be featured in 7-on-7 work.

The two Bears rookies chatted briefly after the rep about routing and timing before returning to a solid day of consistently precise work for Williams.

That day, Williams had only three misses. The first was a drop by tight end Brendan Bates in the flat. The second was a ball thrown high and in front of Peter LeBlanc. The final incompletion was the product of a nice play by cornerback Leon Jones, who reacted quickly to disrupt a quick release to the left.

Williams broke up the group with a “Bear Down!” ” to end practice and immediately got to work throwing routes to undrafted rookie wide receiver John Jackson, who is in Halas for a tryout.

Undrafted rookie quarterback Austin Reed worked out with Williams during the offseason and saw firsthand the work the No. 1 overall pick puts in to realize his star potential.

“I think any intelligent person knows that this guy is considered a generational prospect and I don’t think he’s shying away from that,” Reed said. “I think he understands the work it’s going to take to become that instead of just thinking he already is. I kind of respect the fact that he carries himself that way and that he calls himself really: I’m going to make money from this label, instead of just thinking it’s that.”

Williams’ arrival should change things for a franchise that has spent four decades wandering in the quarterback wilderness.

It’s an arrival that is already starting to leave an imprint on the building.

“His personality starts,” Eberflus said of Williams’ aura. “His light comes from within. You can definitely feel that energy. He’s a 1-plus-1-equals-3 guy. He’s an activator. He’s a guy who brings out the best in people. You can definitely feel it in him within five minutes of meeting him.

The Caleb Williams era began in earnest Friday at Halas Hall. The Bears’ rookie quarterback hasn’t done anything revelatory. There were no highlights or “wow” moments. Why would there be?

There was just precision and accuracy, and Caleb Williams was taking the first step on his NFL journey – a step he hopes will lead him on the path to “immortality.”

But it’s a long way to go. Even though Williams has big visions, he remains focused on the small steps that will follow.

“Obviously, you have goals that you set for yourself in the moment, and you also have goals that you set for yourself in the future,” Williams said. “So that’s important. But it’s also very important to understand the moment that we’re in and be in that moment. I would say take it step by step, handle it the way that it has to be managed, and being a professional is a really important thing.

Stage 2 arrives on Saturday.

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