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Ryan Leaf Fears the Bears Will Set Caleb Williams Up for an “Absolute Failure” in His Rookie Year

Sauvik Banerjee

Ryan Leaf Fears the Bears Will Set Caleb Williams Up for an "Absolute Failure" in His Rookie Year

The Caleb Williams hype is at its all-time peak as the NFL Draft inches closer. But despite the excitement to see the former USC QB in the Bears jersey, NFL veteran Ryan Leaf is fearful of what could transpire if the projected No. 1 pick becomes the starter in his rookie season.

Recognizing Caleb as a generational talent, the former No. 2 pick, Ryan Leaf, accepts the risk of not delivering to the highest potential early on. This could lead to a collapse of his mindset and ultimately jeopardize the Heisman winner’s career, much like Leaf’s NFL stint.

Leaf and Peyton Manning were two competing picks in the 1998 NFL Draft and he certainly knows the expectations and responsibility that come with getting picked so high in the draft. He expressed his concerns with the Bears naming Caleb as the starter in his rookie season, which also comes with a lot of expectations.

“I think he has to sit a year,” Leaf, who had a disastrous rookie season with the Chargers in 1998, said about Caleb Williams, “I think what he has done in college doesn’t necessarily translate very well to the NFL right away. He’s spent a lot of his time vacating the pocket out the back.”


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Predicting the Bears as a playoff-bound team, Leaf feels that they need to prepare Caleb as a quarterback before making him the starter. This seems to be a proven tactic that has been working on the current generation of QBs like Patrick Mahomes and Jordan Love.

“If they don’t make the playoffs or they stumble early or they are in a place. I don’t care if it’s a rookie quarterback, Matt Eberflus is gone. So now you’re talking about a rookie quarterback and a new head coach again. With a new offense, again. You’ve just set him up for absolute failure.”

Leaf’s argument, however, didn’t sit well with many. The majority expressed that a franchise would never bench the first overall pick for an entire season, while a few conceded that he certainly had a point.

Caleb Williams Sets the Bar High for His Rookie Season

Though an unpopular opinion, Ryan Leaf garnered support from fans for his take on Caleb Williams. Many fans felt that the hype that surrounds Caleb Williams might not be easy to live up to since college players hardly translate their success after getting drafted. However, there were also several football enthusiasts who didn’t hold back punches before throwing shades at Leaf. Take a look:

One fan wrote, “Yeah, I think I’ll pass on the Leaf assessment of QB.

This fan had an interesting theory:

Others said,

“He didn’t say anything that isn’t true.” One fan expressed.

While another stated, “This is a very understandable take.”

That said, Caleb Williams is setting his bar high by aiming to have a better rookie season than CJ Stroud, as he admitted in the Pivot Podcast a week before the draft. For now, all we can do is wait and see if he will live up to his expectations when the time comes.

Post Edited By:Samnur Reza

About the author

Sauvik Banerjee

Sauvik Banerjee


Sauvik Banerjee is an NFL Content Manager at the SportsRush. He has been a long time fanatic of the sport and has two years of experience as an NFL journalist. After completing his Bachelors Degree in English, Sauvik decided to turn his undying fascination for sports into a career. He will never stop talking about the nuances that make NFL so inclusive yet competitive in nature. His favorite NFL players are Odell Beckham Jr. and Tom Brady.

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