Caleb Williams: To be a great leader, you’ve got to learn how to follow first

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus didn't mess around on Friday, naming No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams the team's starting quarterback at the start of rookie minicamp.

It's hardly a surprise that Williams will be Chicago's QB1, as the team had been signaling for over a month that Williams would be the No. 1 overall pick. But Week 1 also isn't for another several months.

When asked how he'll pace himself through the process now that he's been named the starter, Williams talked about having goals both for the moment and for the future.

"That’s important," he said. "But also, understanding the moment that we’re in and being in that moment is really important. I would say taking it a step at a time, handling it the way it needs to be handled, and being a professional is really important. So, all of those go in one. And I would definitely say, for sure being in the moment, taking it one step at a time."

Even as he's already been declared QB1, Williams sounded humble as he described his approach to becoming one of the team's leaders.

"To be a great leader, you’ve got to learn how to follow first," Williams said. "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. And when I get to the point of, when I learn everything, when I learn the ways of how we do it — the playbook, the culture, and what the offensive line, wide receivers are all doing, running backs, tight ends, and things like that, then you can start taking the lead. Then you can start taking the helm of all of it and take the next steps.

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

With Tyson Bagent, Brett Rypien, and Austin Reed as the other quarterbacks on the roster, there’s no question that this is Williams’ team. With Eberflus removing any notion of a competition, Chicago can begin to rally around Williams to put him in the best position for success when the season starts.