It's official: Bears rookie Caleb Williams to start at QB

League: NFL

Posted on: 10 May, 2024 at 05:25 PM

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears rookie Caleb Williams on Friday was named the team's starting quarterback for the upcoming season.

The announcement comes as little surprise, given the Bears selected Williams with the top overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft out of Southern California.

Tyson Bagent, 23, is expected to serve as the backup. He started four games as an undrafted rookie last season.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus didn't mince words when announcing the decision on Williams.

"No conversation. He's the starter," Eberflus said.

Williams, 22, said he's ready to take the steps to learn how to lead.

"To be a great leader, you have to learn how to follow first. So right now I'm following all the vets, I'm following all the coaches, I'm listening -- having both ears open and my mouth shut -- just kind of sitting back listening," he said. "When I get to the point of when I learn everything, when I learn the ways of how we do it, the culture, the playbook and what the offensive line, wide receivers are all doing, running backs and tight ends, things like that, then you can start taking the lead, then you can start taking the helms of it and take the next steps.

"For right now though, I'm listening more than I'm speaking and talking and I'm taking it one step at a time and being in the moment."

Williams won the Heisman Trophy in 2022 and passed for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions for the Trojans in 2023.

In three seasons at Oklahoma (2021) and USC combined, Williams put up prolific passing numbers: 10,082 yards, 93 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with 27 rushing TDs.

Bagent completed 94 of 143 passes for 859 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions in five games last season.

--Field Level Media