Chicago Bears officially hire Seattle Seahawks’ Shane Waldron as OC

Jan 23, 2024, 1:18 PM

Seattle Seahawks Shane Waldron...

Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron during a game on Sept. 25, 2022. (Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears hired Shane Waldron as their offensive coordinator on Tuesday, hoping the former Seattle Seahawks OC can get the most out of Justin Fields or a new quarterback if they draft one with the No. 1 overall pick.

What stands out about two NFL DCs in mix for Seattle Seahawks coach

Waldron joins coach Matt Eberflus’ staff after spending the past three seasons as offensive coordinator under Pete Carroll in Seattle. He replaces Luke Getsy, who was fired after two years.

With the Seahawks, Waldron called plays for an offense led by Russell Wilson in 2021. He then helped quarterback Geno Smith go from a journeyman to AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2022 after passing for 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns.

The Seahawks ranked 21st in total offense, 14th in passing and 17th in scoring this season. They also struggled on third downs.

Before moving to Seattle, Waldron spent four years as an assistant with the Los Angeles Rams, the last three as passing game coordinator with Jared Goff as the QB. The Seahawks’ coaches were looking for new jobs after Carroll moved to an advisory role two weeks ago, ending a 14-year run that included a Super Bowl championship — a change that seemed somewhat forced by Seahawks ownership.

It sounds like Pete Carroll is aiming to coach another NFL team

Chicago went 7-10 with an improved defense leading the way after finishing with a league-worst 3-14 record in 2022. But the Bears have some major questions, starting with whether to keep Fields or draft Caleb Williams or Drake Maye with the No. 1 pick.

Eberflus’ long-term security also is no sure thing, given his 10-24 record through two seasons. Only John Fox (14-34 from 2015-17) and Abe Gibron (11-30-1 from 1972-74) have a worse winning percentage among Bears coaches.

Though Chicago finished second in rushing after leading the league in 2022, it ranked near the bottom in passing each of the past two seasons.

Fields’ three seasons have been marked by big plays with his arm and legs but little consistency as a passer. He never really meshed with Getsy and even went public with his frustration in Week 3 when he said he was being fed too much information, comments he tried to soften later that day.

Fields showed some improvement in the pocket this season and threw for a career-high 2,562 yards in 13 games. But he was 22nd in the NFL with an 86.3 passer rating. He has thrown for 200 yards or more just 13 times in 40 games and has just one 300-yard passing game in his career.

The Bears could decide to stick with Fields and trade the No. 1 pick, as they did last year in a massive deal with Carolina. They got top receiver DJ Moore in return as well as the Panthers’ first-round selection this year. And with Carolina finishing with a league-worst 2-15 record, Chicago is again at the top of the draft.

The chance to select a potential franchise-changing quarterback like Williams or Maye might be too tempting to pass up this time. There are also salary-cap implications to consider, since a new quarterback would be on a club-friendly rookie contract. The Bears have to decide whether to pick up Fields’ fifth-year option for 2025.

Chicago also is looking for a defensive coordinator. Eberflus took over play-calling duties after Alan Williams resigned in September.

Mock NFL Draft Roundup: Who will be Seattle Seahawks’ top pick?

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Devon Witherspoon Julian Love Arizona Cardinals 2023...

Cameron Van Til

ESPN insider: Why Seahawks’ roster is in ‘interesting spot’

"It's kind of an exercise in how you can build a roster in different ways," ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler said of the Seattle Seahawks.

2 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Uchenna Nwosu Boye Mafe...

Brent Stecker

Bump: Who needs to be Seahawks’ own comeback player of the year

"If he is a comeback player of the year for this team, I like where this defense is going," Michael Bumpus said of a Seattle Seahawks player.

9 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks Riq Woolen OTAs 2024...

Stacy Rost

Rost: Ranking Seahawks players who are under the most pressure

Even though expectations may be lower for the Seattle Seahawks under first-year head coach Mike Macdonald, some players have a lot of pressure on them for 2024.

1 day ago

Seattle Seahawks Abraham Lucas...

Brent Stecker

Seahawks place 7 on PUP list prior to training camp

The Seattle Seahawks announced seven players Thursday that have been placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list ahead of training camp next week.

2 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Mike Macdonald...

Maura Dooley

What NFL insiders say about 3 big Seattle Seahawks questions

Still trying to figure out what the Seattle Seahawks will look like under coach Mike Macdonald? Find out what three NFL insiders have said.

2 days ago

Seattle Seahawks WR UFL Marcus Simms...

Brent Stecker

What are the Seahawks getting in latest wide receiver addition?

The Seattle Seahawks are reportedly adding another standout from the UFL spring football league. Brock Huard details WR Marcus Simms.

3 days ago

Chicago Bears officially hire Seattle Seahawks’ Shane Waldron as OC