Caleb Williams' open Tom Brady pursuit is type of attitude Bears have long needed

Caleb Williams' open Tom Brady pursuit is type of attitude Bears have long needed originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

A lot of things had to go right for the Bears to be in a position to select USC star quarterback Caleb Williams as the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's 2024 NFL Draft.

The Houston Texans' win in a meaningless Week 18 game to close the 2022 season set off a chain of events with the Bears on the precipice of drafting the type of potentially franchise-altering player Chicago has long sought.

Williams' list of accomplishments and rare abilities is well-documented. When the Bears turn in the card with Williams' name on it, they'll get a quarterback deemed a "generational" talent by many scouts and league executives.

What Williams will bring to Chicago is not only an elastic arm, special playmaking ability, and the Bears' best chance to break an 80-year quarterback curse. But he'll also bring with him a desire to chase greatness -- the greatest, to be precise -- and a no-nonsense request from his future organization that the Bears have long needed.

Williams went on "The Pivot" last Friday and said he hopes to play in one place for "20 years" and win eight Super Bowls to beat Tom Brady.

NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported that Williams' camp made it clear to the Bears early in the pre-draft process that they needed to show they were committed to surrounding Williams with the infrastructure required to "reach his next goal of chasing Tom Brady and winning Super Bowls."

Some will say Williams should focus on the process or not put numbers out there before the Bears draft him. You'll get a statue if you win one Super Bowl in Chicago. What's the need to state your goal of eight?

However, the high bar Williams has set for himself and his future organization should be a breath of fresh air for a franchise that had become complacent with mediocrity before general manager Ryan Poles' arrival. The Bears have won just four playoff games since 1994 and, for long periods, have been fine living as a middle-of-the-road team. They chalked it up as a win as long as they weren't an outright embarrassment.

Poles said he was hired to "break a cycle." That mainly pertains to the Bears' 80-year quest to find and develop a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. However, it should also pertain to changing what is acceptable at Halas Hall. Poles has been working not only to break a cycle but also to raise the bar.

Williams' camp only wanted the 2022 Heisman winner to be drafted by an organization willing to do everything necessary to be a perennial contender.

If Williams lives up to the hype and the wins start flowing, he'll ask what every star quarterback asks of his franchise: consistent investment in winning football.

Poles has already started raising the bar at Halas Hall. Williams has grand visions for his career and wants to build something that will last in Chicago.

For those visions to become reality, Williams must live up to the expectations. If he does, he'll ask the Bears to continually put him in a position to vie for championships.

He'll ask a lot of the Bears. But that's OK as long as he delivers on his end.

He'll demand greatness from the Bears, as will Poles. That's precisely what the slow-changing Bears need to become the type of franchise they always claimed they wanted to be.

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