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Bears rookie QB Caleb Williams impresses in OTA practice


Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Williams threw the ball with accuracy and touch in Friday's OTA practice at Halas Hall, connecting with a multitude of receivers.

During one drill, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft completed five straight passes to tight end Gerald Everett, running back Roschon Johnson and receivers DJ Moore, Nsimba Webster and Tyler Scott.

"I thought 7-on-7 for Caleb was really good," said coach Matt Eberflus. "I thought he did a really nice job throwing the ball on time. His footwork has improved this whole week. His progress was there."

In 11-on-11 drills, Williams demonstrated his mobility and ability to throw on the run, hitting tight end Cole Kmet and receiver Rome Odunze, among others.

"When you get the rush involved, a lot of times during this time of year, it's hard to evaluate the protection because there's no pads on," Eberflus said. "I know that the D-line coaches get all excited and all that and I always tell them, 'Hey, let's wait until we get the pads on. It's very hard to block a guy with no pads.' Sometimes it's off-schedule a little bit, so we'll work on our scramble drills."

Eberflus has seen Williams make strides in "understanding the plays and how his feet are married to those plays, if it's just normal situations [or] if it's play-action pass or in the red zone when it quickens up a little bit."

"I think he really improved on that this week," Eberflus said, "and you could see the ball coming out of his hand pretty live when his feet were right."

Williams has also impressed his new teammates.

"He's competitive," said middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. "As a rookie, he's doing some things that are good to see. That's the thing that gets me most excited and I think gets our team most excited."

Asked about his impressions of the rookie quarterback, running back D'Andre Swift said: "Man, just the talent jumps out at you. [He's] somebody that's willing to learn."

Swift also praised Williams' leadership skills.

"You could tell it's natural to him," Swift said. "You could tell he's trying to get comfortable with the offense and everything, commanding the offense. You stand in the huddle with a whole new set of faces, new group of guys, so it takes time for somebody to get comfortable and for that to be repetition-like. He's doing a great job so far taking it day-by-day. I talked to him about it the other day. He's doing great so far."

Take a look at the Bears hitting the Halas Hall practice fields during the second week of Organized Team Activities.

Bears have 'something brewing here'

Coaches and players expressed excitement about the Bears being featured on the popular HBO and NFL Films "Hard Knocks" series during training camp.

Eberflus, who served as Colts defensive coordinator when Indianapolis appeared on Hard Knocks in 2021, spoke to Bears players about what to expect.

"They were excited about it," Eberflus told reporters. "We have a good thing going here. We've got a good brotherhood, a good mindset. You guys have heard about our culture and how tight we are as a group. That showed at the end of last year. That showed through adversity, and that's going to show again this year.

"I believe that NFL Films and HBO do an outstanding job of getting their message out of the team, and we're going to be proud of that message because I'm proud of these guys and I'm proud of the organization."

"I'm excited for our players to get a chance to tell some of their stories—not only players but the staff as well," added special teams coordinator Richard Hightower. "I hope that people around the world get a chance to really get to know our guys because we've got a good culture here and we have some really good guys."

The Bears have been the talk of the offseason—in part because they held the No. 1 pick in the draft—and will remain in the national spotlight via Hard Knocks.

"It shows that we've got something brewing here," Edmunds said. "Everybody wants to see what's going on and just really being yourself out there, not doing too much but just showing up to work and just showing the world what we're all about here, the high-level execution that we have."

Exciting to watch

Swift continues to display his dual-threat ability in practice, running with the ball and catching passes out of the backfield.

"D'Andre has looked really good during this offseason," Eberflus said. "He's very quick. He's a weapon out of the backfield, which is outstanding for our passing game, and it's going to create some mismatches for us. He can do a lot of things from the backfield. He can split them out wide and run the full route tree. He's exciting to watch."

Swift has appeared in 56 NFL games with 31 starts for the Lions (2020-22) and Eagles (2023), rushing for 2,779 yards and 23 touchdowns on 593 carries and catching 195 passes for 1,412 yards and eight TDs.

The Bears signed Swift to a three-year contract on the first day of free agency in March.

"We really needed that guy that can really operate on third down and even on first and second down to be a weapon in the deep part of the field and the short part of the field and be able to take it the distance," Eberflus said.