'Hard Knocks' selects Bears for 2024 training camp docu-series, will feature No. 1 pick Caleb Williams

LAKE FOREST, ILLINOIS - MAY 11: Caleb Williams #18 of the Chicago Bears looks on during Chicago Bears Rookie Minicamp at Halas Hall on May 11, 2024 in Lake Forest, Illinois.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
The Bears have a lot riding on Caleb Williams. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bears are the "Hard Knocks" team for the 2024 NFL training camp, which means viewers will get an inside look at Caleb Williams' rookie season.

NFL Films announced the selection Thursday, with the first episode to come on Aug. 6. It will be the first time Chicago is featured on the 23-year-old show.

The Bears were one of three teams that could be picked to be on the show, alongside the Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints.

Under previous NFL rules, teams could be selected to do the show if they a) didn't have a first-year head coach, b) didn't make the playoffs in the past two years and c) hadn't done the show in the past 10 years. However, change is coming, as NFL owners voted in March to remove the playoff requirement and shorten the waiting period to eight years, while also making teams ineligible if they were doing the in-season version.

Team chairman George McCaskey flatly said the team didn't want to do it in March. Here's what head coach Matt Eberflus had to say about it in an NFL press release:

“Our players, coaches and staff are excited to continue the process of building for the 2024 season," said Matt Eberflus, Chicago Bears head coach.

Feel the excitement.

In addition to the traditional 'Hard Knocks' covering Bears training camp, there will be two additional versions of the show.

The New York Giants were announced earlier this month to be the subjects of an offseason version of the show, which figures to offer an inside look at the team's approach to the scouting combine, free agency and the NFL Draft. That will premiere on July 2.

There will also be the return of the in-season version of the show, which covered the Miami Dolphins last season. Rather than one team being on the in-season show this season, four teams will be selected, as this year's in-season version will cover an entire division.

It's really not hard to see why the Bears were a good option for "Hard Knocks," as much as they didn't want to do it. Let's count off the ways:

  • One of the most popular franchises in the NFL

  • Williams, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, who is already well-known via a Heisman Trophy-winning career at USC and Oklahoma

  • A head coach very much on the hot seat in Eberflus

  • Two incoming wide receivers to play alongside 1,000-yard receiver D.J. Moore, the veteran Keenan Allen and the No. 9 pick Rome Odunze

  • The fallout of the Justin Fields trade

  • A team trying to return to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons

There might be teams better than the Bears this season, but few are as interesting. The 2024 season could very well be the one where the team turns everything around, or it could be the start of another disastrous era. Either way, plenty of fans are going to want to watch as closely as possible.