Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams is reportedly experiencing growing pains during his first NFL training camp. The 2024 first-overall pick struggled in a 7-on-7 drill Thursday, throwing multiple near-interceptions and completing just three passes.

Early reports on Williams’ progression in early drills have been inconsistent, with players and outside observers forming a number of opinions on his performance. His practice Thursday, however, was the first that media members could view, and the results were less than promising.

“Rough day for Caleb and the starting offense,” beat reporter Nicholas Moreano posted on X. “Many incompletions and near INTs. In 7-on-7, Williams completed only three passes. [Jaylon Johnson] had a near-INT over the middle. In team period, most completions were to the flat; Williams held onto the ball for a long time.”

Moreano added that receivers Rome Odunze and Keenan Allen were both unavailable for practice, as Odunze is dealing with a knee injury and Allen had a family matter. That could have had a serious impact on Williams’ performance as he tries to decipher a new offense. As receiver D.J. Moore pointed out, Williams isn’t the only one with something to learn.

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“Right now we’re all just getting used to each other,” Moore said. “We all have to learn a new offense right now. With him, you just have to know that the growing pains are going to be there. For a rookie, I think he’s 22? 23?, so you know you’ve got a lot to learn and a lot to accomplish in such a short amount of time.”

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus has also been tolerant of Williams’ early mistakes. He considers momentary lapses inevitable for a rookie quarterback and has been happy with Williams’ progression.

“I see progress for sure,” Eberflus said when asked about Williams, according to NBC Sports. “It’s going to continue to be that way. He’s been in early, stays late, asking questions at night — he’s got his iPad at night in the hotel and has been working his tail off.”

While Williams takes time to learn an NFL offense for the first time, the Bears will spend the next few months developing a new system around a radically improved offensive roster. In addition to drafting Williams and Odunze and trading for Allen, the team also acquired running back D’Andre Swift from the Eagles. The rookie quarterback could be stepping into a team ready to win from the very beginning.

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