Welcome to the Caleb Williams era of Chicago Bears football

In a few hours, the Chicago Bears will have a new franchise quarterback, Caleb Williams. He will be the best quarterback prospect they welcome to Halas Hall. There are many reasons why I believe drafting Williams is a no-brainer, but his drive to win is, above all, something we in Chicago can appreciate. A quote from him stuck with me during the pre-draft process.

“As the saying goes, legends live on. My goal is to play football – not money, not fame… to be immortal. I want to feel like a legend.

Well, you're in the right place, baby. Chicago is where legends are made. Jordan. Pippen. Rodman. Baton. Urlacher. Butkus. Mikita. Can. Toes. The list goes on for days. Hall of Famers. Champions. legends.

If a young player's goal is to become an immortal legend, to have their jersey hung from the rafters and statues built in their image, there's no better landing spot for Caleb Williams than Chicago. He will get every opportunity to see his vision in this city.

Which side of history will Caleb Williams land on?

Caleb Williams Chicago Bears
October 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) runs against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

He'll also have a chance to become the latest in a long list of failed Chicago quarterbacks.

Chicago is a tough sports town. It's a huge media market with a rabid fan base that loves the Bears. Chicago – the city with six professional sports franchises – is the city of the Bears. This city breathes Chicago Bears football. Bears fans embody the grit and toughness the world has come to associate with Bears football's greatest eras and wear it like a badge of honor.

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But it's been a long time since the city enjoyed the joy tonight when Caleb Williams was selected as the first overall pick. Bears have always been known for their protection. They have always been a defense-first team, from the Butkus days to the 1985 Super Bowl shuffle and most recently the Lovie Smith era.

But football has evolved, and a defense can't carry mediocrity to the Super Bowl at the game's most prestigious position. It's been 24 years since the Baltimore Ravens dragged Trent Tilfer to the Super Bowl. Times have changed.

These days the quarter position should be fine. The Bears were never able to accomplish that. Since I was born in 1990 the Chicago Bears have had 39 quarterbacks start a game under center.

34 years.

39 quarterbacks.

Not even one of those quarterbacks came as far as number 40 in my lifetime.

It's tough to ask for a new quarterback to come to a big city with big expectations and become the savior of a franchise that has long needed it. This is borderline unfair. But in this case, he likes it. Caleb Williams has made it clear that nothing is more important to him than winning football matches. Her phone's lock screen is full of self-reminders.

“Don't get bored with consistency”

“Discipline is doing what you don't want to do, but doing what you want to do.”

“The battle is between me and me, not you; You're on your way.”

“Put your DNA into a team and lead them to a championship – Kobe.”

“F- Go kill everyone.”

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Williams has two goals in the NFL on his locker: be the No. 1 pick in the draft and win eight Super Bowls. Williams will check one of those boxes tonight. Bears fans hope he checks the latter when all is said and done.

In a recent conversation with Ryan ClarkeWilliams had this to say about going to Chicago:

“I love L.A. L.A. was great. Now I have to chase a guy after 20 years in one place, number 12, and I want a place to catch the ball. I've heard about Chicago so far.

Caleb Williams is the first pick in 2024
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Not much has been said about Caleb Williams at this point. He is called Generation. I don't like that word. Think empty calories. It is thrown around so recklessly that it loses its value and meaning. But something is different about Williams. He's not your typical quarterback prospect. He can't be compared to any quarterback you've ever seen.

However, he is the best quarterback prospect in this draft class, in recent memory, and Hollas is the best to get into the Hall, and the competition is by no means far off.

Bears fans deserve it. They've been through most of their careers and had enough success to make a comeback, but the conversation and pulse of one of the NFL's most passionate fan bases was at an all-time low last season. It was a completely unappealing place. But today marks the next chapter in Bears history and a new day for this fan base—one filled with hope and excitement.

And not just by Williams. Bears general manager Ryan Boles has done a tremendous job fixing the disaster he inherited when he was hired as the team's general manager. If Caleb Williams can answer the call in a Bears uniform, his trade to the Panthers last year will be the most impactful trade in the history of this storied franchise. But Williams will have help. He'll join a team that's in a better position to develop a new quarterback than we've seen in Chicago.

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The fear of another Bears quarterback without Williams is understandable. We cannot escape the franchise's history. But this feels different. It feels like the last time. It's finally okay.

Caleb Williams' time in Chicago. It's time to get excited about being a Bears fan again.


Join us tonight for the Bears' big day live on our social media and YouTube channels at 7 CT!

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