Bears HC Matt Eberflus isn't wasting anyone's time with Caleb Williams starting decision

The Chicago Bears have their QB1.
Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears
Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Chicago Bears landed USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft a couple weeks ago. After trading Justin Fields to make way for the highly-touted gunslinger, it was only a matter of time until Williams was officially cemented as Chicago's QB1.

And, well, breaking news: Tyson Bagent will not start the season under center for the Bears.

Head coach Matt Eberflus named Williams the Bears' starting QB on Friday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Chicago Bears officially name Caleb Williams QB1

There really wasn't an alternative here. Bagent performed fine in reserve spots last season, but he's a former undrafted free agent with limited arm strength and minimal pedigree. Williams has been the consensus top prospect for years, winning the 2022 Heisman trophy and flourishing under the bright lights of Los Angeles at USC.

Despite the Trojans' struggles last season, Williams performed up to his typical standards, completing 68.6 percent of his passes for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns, and five interceptions in 12 games. He also scrambled for an additional 142 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Chicago is used to a dual-threat QB under center, but Williams takes it to another level. He can match Fields as a runner, but he's drastically more potent with his arm. Whereas Fields struggled to generate velocity and distance on his passes, Williams can rocket a dart 50 yards up the sideline with a flick of his wrist. He can improvise on the move and create out of broken plays, or he can stand tall in the pocket, make his progressions, and rifle it to the open receiver.

Williams shouldn't be short on help this season. In addition to veteran wideouts Keenan Allen and D.J. Moore, Chicago used the No. 9 pick on Washington WR Rome Odunze, who Williams worked out with during the pre-draft cycle. With three game-changers in the pass-catching corps — not to mention a talented tight end in Cole Kmet — Chicago should level up offensively.

There is a lot of pressure on the Bears this season. Eberflus barely kept his job with a late-season push. Chicago's defense should perform up to expectations, as that is Eberflus' area of expertise. The real question is, how much of the Bears' offensive ceiling is unlocked by new OC Shane Waldron? All the pieces are in place, but if Chicago cannot deliver the results, the coaching staff won't last much longer.

Inevitably, that pressure will fall to Williams. He is burdened with great expectations as the No. 1 pick joining a historic franchise. Chicago fans are tired of toiling in mediocrity. Williams has all the tools of a franchise QB. Now, he is tasked with performing up to those expectations.

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