The Other Way Caleb Williams Is Set Up Better than Justin Fields

Better and more pass catchers will not be the only edge the Bears rookie QB has in development over his predecessor, Justin Fields.
The Bears will have plenty of eyes on Caleb Williams as their coaching staff is updated in numbers and assignments to reflect what teams with successful passing attacks do.
The Bears will have plenty of eyes on Caleb Williams as their coaching staff is updated in numbers and assignments to reflect what teams with successful passing attacks do. / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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Much has been made of the advantage Caleb Williams enjoys over Justin Fields as a rookie because of his receivers.

No one would deny this because of the big names in the receiver corps, but it goes beyond this to the coaching staff.

Willams has more eyes on his passing mechanics and also more minds helping him understand the offense than Fields, if indeed this is an edge.

It also appears to be another case of the Bears finally stepping into the 21st century with their offense.

Last year Fields was working with coordinator Luke Getsy, quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko and had the partial attention of Tyke Tolbert, who acted as receivers coach and passing game coordinator, and Omar Young as assistant QB coach through Halloween. But Young's attention turned to running backs as the acting running backs coach after David Walker's firing Nov. 1.

So, essentially, Fields had only Getsy and Janocko focusing on him and, in Getsy's case, the game plan and play calling took precedent once the season began.

The Bears now have Kerry Joseph as QB coach in Janocko's old role, but the change when Shane Waldron came in was to add a full-time passing game coordinator in Thomas Brown. He's not splitting time as receivers coach because they have Chris Beatty for this. They also have two quarterback/receiver assistants in Robbie Picazo and Ryan Griffin. At least they do now that Griffin is back from playing in the Italian Football League.

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Essentially, there are three more eyes on the QB on a given day than there were on Fields.

"The way we're set up has been pretty similar to the last few stops, whether it was LA or in Seattle," said Waldron, which only shows the Bears were behind the times when it came to developing QBs. "And we were able, when I got on board here, to build it under a similar frame as that."

Too many chefs in the kitchen can spoil the broth and the Bears offensive coordinator is mindful of this. Communication is the key to handling assignments.

"I think that starts with the communication amongst ourselves within the staff, whether it's with Thomas Brown or Kerry Joseph, how we’re working there, with Robbie Picazo or Ryan Griffin, different guys that are going to be around the quarterback. But knowing there is still a voice that’s coming from me that everyone is going to echo. And they've done such a great job of being in sync, knowing who has different elements of the offense. But then also making sure we'll have great discussions during staff meetings, we'll have great discussions as we're watching film."

It's not a bunch of "yes" men, Waldron said.

"I would hope that not everybody agrees with each other every single second of a meeting because that would mean everyone is just saying yes to say yes, so we'll have good, tough conversations with the goal being what's right for our offense this year."

It all sounds plausible now and considering how journeyman Geno Smith performed as starter under Waldron on Seattle's staff there is already evidence it can succeed. The real proof will be in how quickly Caleb Williams is able to develop, though.

Then there would be plenty of credit to go around for everyone to share even with the extra coaches on board.

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Gene Chamberlain

GENE CHAMBERLAIN

BearDigest.com publisher Gene Chamberlain has covered the Chicago Bears full time as a beat writer since 1994 and prior to this on a part-time basis for 10 years. He covered the Bears as a beat writer for Suburban Chicago Newspapers, the Daily Southtown, Copley News Service and has been a contributor for the Daily Herald, the Associated Press, Bear Report, CBS Sports.com and The Sporting News. He also has worked a prep sports writer for Tribune Newspapers and Sun-Times newspapers.