Chicago Bears minicamp report: Quarterback Caleb Williams strives for perfection on the field

Williams showed progress on last day of minicamp

Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams looks to a throw during NFL team's mandatory minicamp football practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Tuesday, June 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

LAKE FOREST – Bears quarterback Caleb Williams didn’t have any grand expectations for his first minicamp. In his mind, there was only one thing he really wanted to accomplish this week.

Work hard and get better.

“I came in to work, to work my tail off, show the guys that I’m here,” Williams told reporters at Halas Hall on Thursday after the final day of minicamp. “I’m working my tail off, I’m progressing and trying not to make the same mistake again. That’s the biggest thing, day-in and day-out, is trying not to make the same mistake over and over and learn from them.”

Williams has shown growth since he first took the field after the Bears selected his with the No. 1 overall pick in April. He told reporters Thursday that he feels more comfortable with his cadence, progressing through his reads and throwing the ball better with anticipation.

But there are things he still wants to work on in order to reach his standard of being perfect.

While Williams felt more comfortable with his cadence, there were moments throughout minicamp where he struggled with it and caused some confusion with the offensive line. Williams is trying to adjust to a verbal cadence after mostly using a clap cadence in college. He’s looking for a balance between not being too loud on certain plays but also not having his voice too low so that a lineman can’t hear him.

All of that also goes along with the challenges of trying to become more comfortable with the Bears’ verbiage and running an NFL huddle.

“It’s just trying to be perfect and work toward that and understanding that when I don’t do it, being neutral,” Williams said. “That’s really important. Being calm and understanding, let’s redo it, we’re going to keep working through it but not make the same mistake again.”

The Bears haven’t shied away from testing Williams from the start. Bears coach Matt Eberflus said he doesn’t believe in having the No. 1 offensive unit go against the No. 2 defensive unit and vice versa.

“I came in to work, to work my tail off, show the guys that I’m here. I’m working my tail off, I’m progressing and trying not to make the same mistake again. That’s the biggest thing, day-in and day-out, is trying not to make the same mistake over and over and learn from them.”

—  Caleb Williams, Bears quarterback

Although there have been moments when the Bears’ top-ranked secondary has taken advantage of the rookie quarterback, Eberflus believes that’ll help Williams’ progression in the long run.

“Caleb is a talent, a very good talent, and his game will go where it needs to be,” Eberflus said. “I want him to see that in front of him, the windows closing, the variation of what we do on defense. I want him to see that day-in and day-out so when he gets to, plays against somebody else, it’ll look like, ‘I’ve been there, done that.’”

Williams will get a chance to continue progressing next week when he and other rookies participate in the final offseason training activities before summer break. Eberflus said most of the work next week will be settling in on the basics to make sure Williams and the rookies have everything set for training camp next month.

Williams believes sticking to his routine will ultimately help him get closer to his goal of being perfect. He measures his progress by asking plenty of questions to make sure he’s progressing the way his coaches want.

But he’s also relied on his teammates throughout the process. Whether it’s on or off the field, Williams appreciates their support.

“It’s been big for me, like I said, having these guys around me and them being graceful, texting me, reaching out, calling me,” Williams said. “From the practice field coming over congratulating me when things go good, and when things don’t go our way or whatever the case may be, coming over and saying whatever they have to say and being encouraging.”

Practice highlights

Williams ended minicamp with arguably his best performance during 7-on-7 red zone drills. The session was highlighted by two impressive throws that would’ve been touchdowns.

The first came when he threw a laser through multiple defenders up the middle to a waiting D.J. Moore. The next came on the following play when he lofted a ball into the corner of the end zone over a couple defenders to Rome Odunze.

Williams had mixed results during the first few days of 7-on-7′s during the week. But Thursday, he displayed the progress he mentioned by going through his progressions in order to make those throws.

“He’s done really good,” Eberflus said. “He’s progressed all the way across and hit guys. He’s progressed to open spaces in his first two progressions and dotted guys. I think it’s been really good.”

Despite the quick start for the offense, the defense did get revenge during 11-on-11 red zone drills. Williams and the offense failed to score on two possessions starting at the 30 and 15 yard lines, respectively.

It’s a date

Eberflus announced Thursday that the Bears will hold a joint practice with the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 15 at Halas Hall ahead of their preseason game. The two teams will play against each other two days later at Soldier Field.

“I do believe it’s good,” Eberflus said. “We’re hitting all the situations that day, so I think it’ll be really good.”

The Bears held joint practices with the Indianapolis Colts last preseason. Although only having one practice will be different from the usual two that teams do, the Bears believe there’s plenty to learn from competing against another team.

“They feel like games,” linebacker T.J. Edwards said. “You’re kind of trying to see where you stack up, and they’re obviously a really good football team. We’re excited about it.”

The Bears also announced nine dates for when the public can attend training camp. Fans can get free tickets to attend training camp July 26, 27 and 30 and Aug. 4, 6, 7, 13, 14 and 15. More information, including ticketing registration details, surrounding training camp at Halas Hall can be accessed at

Michal Dwojak

Michal Dwojak

Michal is a sports enterprise reporter for Shaw Local, covering the CCL/ESCC for Friday Night Drive and other prep sports for the Northwest Herald. He also is a Chicago Bears contributing writer. He previously was the sports editor for the Glenview Lantern, Northbook Tower and Malibu Surfside News.