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Caleb Williams shines in the spotlight at Halas Hall introduction

Caleb Williams shines in the spotlight at Halas Hall introduction originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago has been starved for a high-flying offense, consistent quarterback play, and most importantly, wins. Now that new Bears quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Rome Odunze have arrived in Chicago, the expectation will be that all of those things arrive with them in short order.

Many NFL prospects would shy away from those expectations, preaching patience with the process or focusing on growth and development instead. But not Williams. He’s embraced the challenge of reversing generations of underwhelming offensive play and won’t duck the expectations that come with it.

“There’s no reason to duck,” Williams said in his first press conference at Halas hall. “I’m here. Rome’s here. Keenan Allen, the top-five defense that we had last year, special teams, all the new roles – whatever. We’re here. I’m excited. I know everybody’s excited. The Bears fans are excited from what I’ve heard and seen, and there’s no reason to duck. Attack it head first and go get it.”

Sitting at the podium, in a jam packed media room with a dozen cameras fixed on him, Williams exuded confidence. He didn’t shrink in the spotlight, he seemed to glow in it. Williams gave the impression that he doesn’t just think he can be great in Chicago, he knows he can be great in Chicago.

“Why would I go somewhere, work so hard for so many years and then in every situation I go to believe I’m the best, and then I get here and I don’t believe that? That doesn’t mean that I go around and boast. That doesn’t mean that I go around and say that. But the way I handle my work, the way I carry myself every day, how I treat my friends, family, teammates, the faculty, the executives here, the custodians, whatever the case may be – treat everybody as they are, we’re all equal and everybody should think that they’re the best when you do things and you work so hard for stuff.”

Williams acknowledged he might go through growing pains, like most rookie QBs, but said he doesn’t really think about it.

“I think about just doing my job, handling the things that I can handle, dealing with the small things, holding everybody accountable and everybody holding me accountable, showing up to work every day ready to go and to have fun doing. If growing pains do come around, it happens with a lot of players. You deal with it in that moment. You handle it, but I don’t think about it.”

Williams also talked about being a man who’s comfortable in his own skin. When so many athletes clam up in front of the cameras, Williams seems unchanged and unafraid to show personality. It’s not just his painted fingernails or sharp suits. It’s his frank responses to questions from the media and critiques on social media.

He’s a serious dude about serious stuff, but doesn’t seem to get bent out of shape from things that don’t matter.

Playing quarterback in the NFL is tough enough. Add in the weight of trying to be the man to finally win in Chicago and it can be overwhelming. It wasn’t too long ago that Mitchell Trubisky asked the TVs to be turned off at Halas Hall because he thought the outside noise about the Bears’ struggles was a distraction.

But in a small sample size, after just one press conference, it appears that Williams has the tools to rise above the pressure.

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