Tyson Bagent Breaks Silence on Bears Drafting Caleb Williams

Tyson Bagent Caleb Williams Reaction Bears Quarterback Caleb Williams Backup

Getty Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent.

Tyson Bagent seems to be fully on board with helping usher in the Caleb Williams era for the Chicago Bears in 2024 as his presumptive backup.

Bagent — the Bears’ 2023 backup quarterback — acknowledged the “superstar” athlete the team is getting in Williams during his May 3 interview with NBC Sports Chicago. He also affirmed that part of his job, as he sees it, is helping the rookie adjust to the NFL so that Williams can “be the greatest resource that he can possibly be for the Bears.”

“Obviously, he’s a superstar of an athlete and I think a lot of people know that, which is why it is so exciting,” Bagent said Friday on ‘Football Night in Chicago’ with David Haugh. “But I think outside of that, [I’m] just trying to keep it as normal as possible, understand that he’s just a normal human being like everybody else. He’s going to go through good things, bad things, everything in between.

“So, [I plan on] being able to be another set of eyes for him so I can help him be the greatest resource that he can possibly be for the Bears.”

Bagent is the top returning quarterback from the Bears’ 2023 roster following the offseason departures of Justin Fields (traded to Pittsburgh) and Nathan Peterman (signed with New Orleans). He made the roster against the odds last year as an undrafted rookie free agent and eventually secured the primary backup spot behind Fields, going on to start four games in relief of him near the middle of the season.

Make no mistake, though: Williams — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 draft — has now become the main focus for the Bears, something that Bagent seems to understand well.

Tyson Bagent Wants to be a ‘Resource to Everybody’

Bagent deserves credit for his modesty. After defying expectations in 2023, he could have expressed a desire to play elsewhere once the Bears used the top selection in the draft to secure a new franchise quarterback. Instead, he is putting the Bears first and rallying behind his new teammate — while keeping an emphasis on his own growth.

“I feel like I can offer a good look for the defense on the scout team, Bagent said. “I think I can offer a good set of eyes [as] somebody that at least … has some experience for Caleb when he takes the field, being able to offer him any insight that I have, [the] knowledge that I took in from last year.

“And then, other than that, just keep working as hard as I can and keep the main thing the main thing. Keep my head in the playbook just so I can be a resource to everybody.”

Bagent showed flashes of being a competent NFL backup during his limited action in 2023, but he must continue to improve his accuracy and decision-making as he heads into his second year. While he completed a fair percentage of his passes (65.7%) and put up nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards in five total games, he also turned the ball over eight times (six interceptions) and struggled to make medium-distance throws (13 of 24).

The Bears can certainly work with that, but Bagent’s runway will be shorter in 2024.

Could Bears Find Another Backup QB Before Season?

Let’s say the Bears get through training camp and are not comfortable with the amount of improvement they are seeing from Bagent as their No. 2 quarterback. What options could they have for finding another backup candidate to sit behind Williams in 2024?

Frankly, there is not much.

Ryan Tannehill is the best available quarterback — by a significant margin — at this point in the 2024 offseason. He had the experience to be a valuable mentor to Williams as he navigates his rookie season. If Tannehill desires an opportunity to compete for a starting job again, though, he is certainly not going to find that for himself in Chicago.

If not Tannehill, then the next-best options boil down to Jacob Eason and Blaine Gabbert, and neither one is convincingly better than Bagent behind Williams.

In other words, unless Bagent squanders his chances, expect him to be QB2.

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