Kevin Byard’s message to Bears rookie Caleb Williams after rough practice

The Chicago Bears kicked off organized team activities this week, which gave rookie quarterback Caleb Williams his first opportunity to practice with his veteran teammates.

While Williams and the offense had a strong outing on Monday, it sounds like the defense has been ahead of the offense at this point of the offseason, as expected. Which makes sense considering they’re in the third year of Matt Eberflus’ defense while the offense is still learning Shane Waldron’s new scheme.

Thursday’s practice, which was open to the media, was a rough outing for Williams and the offense. Down two starting receivers (Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze) and offensive linemen (Darnell Wright and Nate Davis), there were a lot of incomplete passes, interceptions and red-zone inefficiency during team drills.

“The first day. The offense really got after us,” said safety Kevin Byard. “[Williams] made some good throws. Some deep passes. He had a really good day. Today, we got after him.”

Following that rough practice on Thursday, Byard had a message for the rookie quarterback about the benefit of those kind of days.

“Not necessarily saying that he [Williams] had a terrible day, but days like this are gonna make you better,” Byard said. “So that’s our job and, like I said, obviously, just the first three days of practice he’s done a lot of positive things. He’s made some really great throws. Just coming in with that swag as a rookie quarterback, he doesn’t seem flustered by anything, so that’s exciting to see.”

Byard said the defense will continue to “make it as hard as possible” on Williams, which will ultimately benefit the team in the long run.

It’s far too early to overreact to May practices where Williams is getting his first action in Waldron’s offense. But going against a top defense in practice every day will be key for Williams as he acclimates to the NFL.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire