Eberflus Aims for Williams to Elevate Cadence

Vince Carbonneau
June 5, 2024  (12:17)

Caleb Williams in training camp
Photo credit: ESPN

Chicago Bears' Caleb Williams Focuses on Mastering Snap Count Amid Rookie Challenges

During Tuesday's mandatory minicamp at Halas Hall, Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams showcased a mix of promising and challenging moments. While he excelled in 7-on-7 drills, his performance in full team sessions, especially during two-minute and blitz scenarios, revealed areas needing improvement against Chicago's seasoned defense.
A particular focus for coach Matt Eberflus is Williams' cadence at the line of scrimmage. Eberflus emphasized the need to reduce pre-snap penalties, noting multiple instances where defenders jumped offsides.
"We saw guys jump offsides -- I think there were a half-dozen [instances] -- so that's something that needs to be worked out," Eberflus remarked. "That is something that needs to be addressed and worked on and improved on here in the next couple of days. We'd like to get that cleaned up."
Williams' adjustment from primarily shotgun formations in college to taking snaps under center mirrors the typical challenges rookie quarterbacks face transitioning to the NFL.
"It's so interesting because in that position like taking a snap under center and saying a cadence is something you would think would be so normal, but most guys aren't doing that until they get to the league now," said tight end Cole Kmet, reflecting on Williams' progress. "So getting guys in the huddle, saying the play call, doing the cadence, those are all brand-new things for him."
Kmet noted improvement in Williams' command during Tuesday's session, attributing it to growing confidence in the playbook and finding his rhythm with cadence.
Eberflus stressed that mastering cadence isn't solely Williams' responsibility but a team effort to synchronize with the quarterback and leverage it as an offensive advantage.
"You just have to get the reps and get it right," Eberflus emphasized. "You have to use cadence as a weapon on offense. You can't just go, 'Ready, set, hut' the entire time, right? So, we got to do double counts, we got to do triple counts, we got to do dummy counts, we got to do silent counts -- we got to do all the counts that everybody else has in the NFL."
Despite challenges, Williams showcased glimpses of his potential, connecting with receivers in tight windows and gaining valuable experience, including a lesson learned from an interception.
"These are the experiences that he has to go through," Eberflus commented on Williams' growth. "He has to go through his progressions, which he did."
Williams' journey through minicamp highlights his learning curve as he navigates the complexities of NFL gameplay, particularly in refining his cadence and decision-making under pressure.
JUNE 5   |   36 ANSWERS
Eberflus Aims for Williams to Elevate Cadence

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