USC quarterback Caleb Williams, a potential top pick in the upcoming NFL draft, has been the subject of rumors suggesting his reluctance to be drafted by the Chicago Bears. However, USC coach Lincoln Riley has vehemently dismissed these rumors, labeling them as a “total smoke screen” and asserting that Williams is focused on winning rather than fixating on the location of the team.
Riley expressed his support for Williams during an appearance on ESPN’s Pat McAfee Show, countering the speculation that Williams would prefer to join the Washington Commanders over the Bears. Dismissing the idea that Williams is influenced by hometown ties, Riley emphasized that Williams prioritizes winning and contributing to a successful franchise over geographic considerations.
Why would Caleb Williams not want to play for the Bears??
He’s going to get
– A top 10 receiver
– A top 10 defense
– An OC that will play to his strengths
– A GM who is building a good, young, core
The rumors of him not wanting to play for Chicago are getting out of hand.… pic.twitter.com/TZoNzka83X
— 🅱️🚂 (@b_cowell34) February 5, 2024
Addressing the notion that Williams might have a preference for Washington due to his roots, Riley downplayed the significance of location for the talented quarterback. According to Riley, Williams is indifferent to the city and is more concerned with finding the right situation where he can develop, contribute, and help a team achieve success.
Riley’s insights into Williams’ mindset come from their shared history at the University of Oklahoma, where Riley coached Williams for a season before Williams transferred to USC in 2022, coinciding with Riley’s move to become the Trojans’ head coach. In contrast, former USC quarterbacks coach Kliff Kingsbury, who briefly worked with Williams in 2023, had a more limited interaction with the young quarterback.
The USC coach argued that the Bears would be a favorable destination for Williams, even though the quarterback hails from Washington DC. Riley pointed out that the Bears are closer to becoming a winning team than the Commanders, having finished the previous season with a 7-10 record and winning five of their final eight games.
“My personal opinion? Chicago moves on from quarterbacks too fast.”
Former Bears DT Mike Pennel has THOUGHTS on Justin Fields and Caleb Williams #SuperBowlLVIII
— CHGO Bears (@CHGO_Bears) February 6, 2024
Riley emphasized Williams’ competitive nature and single-minded focus on winning, downplaying any suggestion that the quarterback is driven solely by personal preferences or desires. According to Riley, while Williams would undoubtedly love to be the first overall pick, his primary goal is contributing to a winning team and achieving success in the NFL.
"He's grown up a lot and is certainly ready for this next opportunity. From a talent standpoint, he's as talented as anybody that I've ever coached. He's got really everything physically that you could want."
— Jim Rome (@jimrome) February 5, 2024
In summary, Coach Lincoln Riley dismissed rumors of Caleb Williams’ aversion to being drafted by the Chicago Bears, emphasizing Williams’ focus on winning and downplaying the significance of location in his decision-making process. Riley highlighted Williams’ competitive nature and commitment to contributing to a successful franchise, making a case for the Bears as a favorable destination for the talented quarterback.