Dalyn Williams isn’t the biggest guy out on the field, but he has a huge heart and that is something he calls a huge asset.
The former Dartmouth quarterback signed with the Bears on Thursday after Matt Blanchard was released. Williams practiced with the Bears on Thursday, the second to last day of OTA’s.
He called the practice session a doozy mentally because he is behind.
“I had fun, I’m excited to be a pro and make football my life,” he said.
After totaling 8,952 yards (7,458 passing, 1,494 rushing) and 75 touchdowns (56 passing, 19 rushing) in four seasons at Dartmouth (2012-15), Williams is out to prove he can stick around in the NFL.
He stands at 5’11”, 215 lbs. and doesn’t emulate any particular quarterback, but says he enjoys watching New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Seattle’s Russell Wilson, two smaller passers.
“When people use my size as a knock it definitely motivates me to prove I belong. One thing we can't measure is how big someone’s heart is. That is my biggest asset, so in a way I turned that perceived flaw into a strength of mine.”
He says he simply tries to learn from other player’s mistakes and take part of someone’s game that is effective for his own.
“For instance Drew [Brees] has a wide base all the time and quick delivery which is obviously the way to go and no one evades pressure like Russell [Wilson], especially on his reverse out to the left."
Prior to the Bears picking up Williams this week, he spent rookie minicamp as a tryout player with the Pittsburgh Steelers right after the draft.
He was one of 19 players that battled for a roster spot. He says this off-season has been stressful with the uncertainty that lied ahead, but after a month, the wait is over.
“I just tried to stay in shape and keep as much hope as possible. I learned at Pittsburgh that being mentally exhausted will be a norm following practice and how much I love football and sleep.”
He’ll now compete with David Fales and Brian Hoyer for snaps behind starter Jay Cutler. At the very least, the Bears can stash him on the practice squad as a third or fourth quarterback.
Williams says it means a great deal to be a part of such a storied franchise like the Bears.
"Walter Payton once played for the NFL team I am now a member of. That is so surreal. I love everything about the Bears organization. They obviously believe in me and a shot is all I needed. I have spoken with just about everyone in the organization, they’re all great people.”
Starting his football career at age 12, Williams played quarterback and inside linebacker. He played quarterback all through high school at Lake Dallas outside of his sophomore season where he lined up at wide receiver. He was a captain for both the football and baseball team, playing shortstop.
Athleticism is clearly on his side.
“I dreamed at a young age of playing in the NFL. As early as I started playing the Madden video games. I was fascinated by the game because growing up all I played was baseball. I became really confident in my ability my sophomore year of high school.”
Playing in the Ivy League for the Big Green, Williams finished as the school leader in career passing yards and total yards. He put up a huge performance last October passing for a school record 435 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout win over Yale.
“My numbers at Dartmouth were just a testament of my teammates' hard work and dedication. My only goal was and is to win every game.”
Williams says the Bears are getting a extreme competitor and smart football player who gives his all on every play. Off the field, he prides himself on treating others the way he wants to be treated.
The best piece of advice he received throughout the draft process was simply to have fun. Even though, he wasn’t drafted he understands that it takes a ton to get to where he is now.
“The NFL is so much about business that if you think about it, it will consume you. If you have fun and enjoy the moment and realize you are getting paid to play a game then things will fall in place.”
As for the top players he’s faced so far in his football career that would be Detroit Lions defensive tackle Caraun Reid and Oakland Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards.
On Wednesday night, Williams got his first taste of deep dish pizza when he went to Pequod's Pizzeria. He says Don Dobes referred him there.
Prior to talking to Williams for this piece there was only one person I knew that went to Dartmouth
— Jake Perper (@BearsBacker) June 9, 2016
Now, Williams is a member of the Bears where he’ll be vying for the No. 3 job with third-year pro David Fales. Both players are undersized passers, but Williams brings an added dimension to the game with his running ability.
The Bears return to practice for a mandatory veteran minicamp on Tuesday that runs through Thursday. This will be a big opportunity for Williams with training camp just a month and a half away.
Favorite players to watch – Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Tyrann Mathieu
Playlist before games - J.Cole, K Dot, Drake, Wale, Rick Ross, Stalley
Favorite movies - National Treasure, Hitch, Imitation Game, Friday Series, The Comebacks
Favorite TV shows - Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Fun fact about you that nobody knows – “I thoroughly enjoy cooking.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “D”
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