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Coaching Decisions Central to Bears' Success Following Recent Changes


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Vince Carbonneau
April 29, 2024  (8:54)
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Caleb Williams during an interview
Photo credit: NFL.com

If this indeed marks the beginning of a new era for the Bears, the onus is squarely on the coaches to harness the burgeoning talent they've assembled.

The recent draft has sparked conversations about a dynamic passing game, buoyed by a newly fortified receiver corps. Past efforts to provide quarterback Justin Fields with adequate tools may have fallen short, but with additions like DJ Moore and Cole Kmet, and despite limited draft capital and salary cap space under General Manager Ryan Poles, there's a renewed sense of potential. However, the development of the quarterback remains crucial.
The Bears have recently bolstered their offense with notable acquisitions including Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze, Keenan Allen, Gerald Everett, and running back D'Andre Swift. This ensemble promises a formidable passing strategy under a new offensive coordinator known for a balanced approach rather than a run-heavy game.
Former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt once faced criticism for claiming that "all the pieces are in place," yet this time, the statement holds more weight. Coach Matt Eberflus anticipates a challenging defense beginning in practice, noting the diverse skill sets among the receivers, halfbacks, and tight ends.
The coaching staff is under immense pressure not to squander this opportunity to advance the Bears' passing game. Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron, with his extensive experience with quarterbacks, along with QB coach Kerry Joseph, who is relatively new to his role, are tasked with guiding Williams as he integrates into the team.
The process for Williams begins at rookie camp soon, with the team clarifying that his pre-draft Skype sessions with Waldron did not cover the offensive playbook. Eberflus expressed confidence in Williams' starting position and his deep passion for football, which was evident as he transitioned from running back to quarterback in his youth and throughout his Heisman-winning college career.
The development of Williams is not an isolated project but a collective effort, starting with the basics of operating the offense. Eberflus emphasized the importance of Williams learning to manage the huddle or no-huddle situations, likening his role to that of a point guard distributing the ball.
General Manager Ryan Poles noted the difficulty in predicting how quickly Williams will adapt to the NFL's West Coast offense, adapted from the Shanahan-McVay playbook, contrasting significantly with the Air Raid offense he played in college. Nonetheless, the potential for Williams to excel and even set new team records in his rookie year is high, provided the coaching staff can effectively leverage his and the team's capabilities.
This transition from a college-level Air Raid offense to a professional West Coast style represents a significant shift, putting additional emphasis on the coaches' ability to develop players to fit this new system. The future of the Bears' passing game, and perhaps the team's success, hinges on this crucial coaching endeavor.
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Coaching Decisions Central to Bears' Success Following Recent Changes

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