Jaylon Johnson: Caleb Williams has to prove himself, we have to learn who he is

Cornerback Jaylon Johnson was one of the Bears veterans who expressed support for the team continuing to go with Justin Fields at quarterback heading into the offseason, but he said at a press conference earlier this month that he’s confident that the team will rally around anyone who is under center.

Johnson’s comments came before Fields was traded to the Steelers in a move that all but confirms that they’ll be selecting a quarterback with the first overall pick. That quarterback is expected to be Caleb Williams and Johnson was asked about the USC product during an appearance on “Up and Adams” this week.

Williams won the Heisman for his play during the 2022 season and there has been some negative commentary about a perceived “Hollywood” attitude that Johnson referenced while saying that Williams can’t come into the NFL with an air of entitlement. Johnson said that won’t fly with a locker room of veteran professionals before adding that those veterans also have to figure out how Williams ticks in order to make sure he’s as successful as possible at the next level.

“What you did in college, the Hollywood, it’s like ‘nah, you gotta prove yourself,'” Johnson said. “That stuff, like, that doesn’t matter. You gotta get to know him, too. I think there’s a fine line between trying to prove a point to him but you also gotta get to know him. Because at the end of the day, we want him to be the absolute best he can be. That’s what we’re bringing him in for to win games. I think truly just learning who he is as a person and learning him deeper than just all the Hollywood stuff you see, but actually trying to learn and get to know him and then knowing what pushes him.”

Johnson used the example of trash talk as one of the buttons that the team will have to push in practice because opponents will do so in games and it is “our duty as his teammates to make him better to strengthen” any parts of Williams’ games that may need that help when he hits the NFL.

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