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Recapping Rookie Minicamp

| May 13th, 2024

The Bears held their annual Rookie Minicamp over the weekend, and if you’re like me the festivities of Mother’s Day Weekend meant that today is a catch-up day for minicamp news. Here’s what you missed:

Rookie OT Kiran Amegadjie Will Not Participate In Chicago’s Offseason Program

Head Coach Matt Eberflus revealed that Amegadjie’s quad injury will keep him out of the entire offseason program. The news isn’t totally unexpected, but a bummer nevertheless — here’s wishing Kiran a swift recovery.

Caleb Williams Is Focused On Listening Now, Speaking Later

The Bears’ new rookie QB said all the right things at the podium this weekend, talking up new teammate Rome Odunze, praising his coaches, and outlining his plan to “lean how to follow” before he tries to lead.

Concerns about Caleb Williams character seem to have been greatly exaggerated thus far, though it’s easy to sound confident when the bullets aren’t yet flying. Still, it’s nice to hear Williams sound so composed.

Of course, it helps when his throwing looks equally effortless. I know this footage is from a minicamp practice in shells, but it’s neat seeing Caleb’s ball placement stay consistent when throwing 40 yards down the field.

Hopefully this means I can write less articles about the ‘jitters’, ‘rust’, and ‘lack of chemistry with new teammates’ that you often hear in defense of a rookie QB’s camp performance, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Caleb Williams Got A Head Start On Shane Waldron’s Offense, Is Now ~6 Weeks Ahead Of Schedule

The Bears used the security of the #1 Overall Pick to their advantage this offseason, giving Caleb Williams a ~6-week head start on Shane Waldron’s preferred cadences, dropback footwork, and route terminology via Caleb’s personal QB coach (Will Hewlett).

According to Chicago’s QB Coach (Kerry Joseph), Williams’ head start paid dividends at rookie minicamp — Joseph described Caleb as ‘light years ahead’ of the information he’d already received, and I imagine that same studying allowed for much more effective offensive installs at minicamp.

I Should Mention, Caleb Williams Is The Official 2024 Bears Starting QB

HC Matt Eberflus mentioned this in response to a question about Caleb’s status next year — “No conversation, he’s the starter”. There will be no ‘competition’ with Tyson Bagent.

Realistically, Everything Else From The Weekend Is Noise

Rome Odunze, Austin Booker, and Tory Taylor’s individual press conferences are great ways to get to know Chicago’s new rookies, but Rookie Minicamp is more about the rookies getting their first official work with their coaches than it is anything newsworthy.

Rome Odunze sat out Saturday with hamstring tightness, but the optimist in me doesn’t see cause for concern given the nature of these rookie practices. The weekend is focused more on mental reps than physical reps, so holding a player out over even the most minor injury makes sense to me — still, it’s worth keeping an eye on throughout OTAs.

That’s more or less all you need to know from this weekend! Be sure to check 0ut the Bears’ official YouTube and Twitter page if you like Social Media-style short videos of the players in action, but outside of those you’re caught up.

Your Turn: Did you have a favorite part of this weekend’s proceedings?

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