Jaquan Brisker Sends Message on Criticism of Bears & Caleb Williams

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Getty Former USC quarterback and presumptive No. 1 draft pick Caleb Williams.

Jaquan Brisker seems to have grown tired of the media’s criticisms of the Chicago Bears and their culture over the past few months of the 2024 NFL offseason.

Brisker recently took to social media to express discontent with one of the latest on-air takes about the Bears and their prospects with presumptive No. 1 pick Caleb Williams, this time coming from Fox Sports 1 host Joy Taylor on April 11’s episode of ‘Speak.’

Taylor had cautioned fans against expecting Williams to lead the Bears to the playoffs as a rookie in 2024, not because of his ability but because of the shortcomings of the organization. She also criticized Chicago as being a team that “has no culture, has no history of winning as of late [and] whose coach we don’t know is a good head coach.”

Brisker shared the clip to his X account and refuted Taylor’s criticisms while taking the high road with his response: “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see.”

Improving the culture has been an emphasis for both general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus since the 2022 offseason when the Bears hired them. Poles has regularly preached his desire to do “right” by his players, exemplified in how he handled trading quarterback Justin Fields in March. Those efforts also started to turn into wins toward the end of 2023 with the Bears winning four of their final six games.

The question now is: Can the Bears maintain it in 2024 with several new pieces?

Taylor’s Arguments Against Bears Don’t Hold Water

Taylor’s case against the Bears making the playoffs in 2024 has some merit. They must not only improve from their 7-10 finish in 2023 but also improve more than the other playoff contenders in the NFC, including two division rivals in the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. The majority of those teams have gotten better this offseason, so it is fair to wonder if the Bears can keep up with an untested rookie quarterback.

That said, the Bears are in a much better situation than the average team holding the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Traditionally, the team that owns the top pick is coming off a season in which it finished as the NFL’s worst team, but Chicago contended for a wild-card spot until Week 17 last season and did so despite blowing three double-digit fourth-quarter leads during the year — tied for the most in NFL history.

That’s a team on the verge, not a team dwelling near the bottom of the league.

The Bears have also made significant improvements to their roster for 2024. They signed one of their defensive foundations — cornerback Jaylon Johnson — to a long-term contract extension. They traded to acquire a new center (Ryan Bates) and a six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver (Keenan Allen). Poles even splurged on the running back market, signing the dynamic D’Andre Swift to a $24 million contract.

Don’t forget, they also have the No. 9 overall pick in this year’s draft, too, which should land them another immediate-impact starter for their roster at a position of need.

Does all of that guarantee Williams can lead the Bears to the playoffs in 2024? No, but the situation is not as bleak as talk-show hosts like Taylor would lead you to believe.

Can Caleb Williams Acclimate Quickly for Bears?

The speed at which Williams adjusts to the NFL level could be a significant factor in the Bears’ ability to contend for the playoffs in 2024. That’s not to say their roster does not have other issues to sort out before the season, but the franchise has scarcely known high-level quarterback play. The most painful evidence of this fact, of course, is that the Bears still have not had a single 4,000-yard passer in their 104 years of existence.

If Williams can change that as a rookie, it would be monumental for the Bears’ success.

While Williams’ play will dictate his NFL future more than anything, the Bears — for their role in it — have done a few things to help set him up for early success. To start, they hired Shane Waldron to replace Luke Getsy as their offensive coordinator and are designing a new-look offense that should allow them to adapt to Williams’ strengths.

The Bears have also already started teaching Williams the offense despite not having officially drafted him yet. Eberflus admitted during the NFL league meetings in late March that they started offensive installs with Williams during their visits with him ahead of his March 20 pro day for USC. He also said their goal was to test him on what he retained when he came to Chicago for his Top 30 visit, which he had on April 3.

Williams must still get on the field and prove he can put the offense into practice, but the Bears’ eagerness to get him acclimated underscores their urgency to win in 2024.

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