What’s up with the JSN comments about ex-Seahawks OC Waldron?

Feb 8, 2024, 3:43 PM | Updated: 3:51 pm

Seattle Seahawks Jaxon Smith-Njigba...

Jaxon Smith-Njigba of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a touchdown on Oct. 22, 2023. (Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

(Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

Fresh off a strong rookie season, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith Njigba (aka JSN) joined the CHGO Bears Podcast on Wednesday and was naturally asked about Shane Waldron, who just moved on from the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator role to take the same position in Chicago.

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Seems like a pretty innocuous question, right? The way Smith-Njigba answered it, however, has caught attention.

“Bears fans are super interested about the offensive coordinator coming in, Shane Waldron,” CHGO Sports host Mark Carman said to JSN from Radio Row in Las Vegas, the host city of Sunday’s Super Bowl. “What can you tell them about who they just hired to try to get this offense where it needs to go?”

JSN’s answer: “Um… Uh… This is live?”

Co-host: “We’re not live, we’re not live.”

JSN: “I’m playing. Good luck to y’all. I mean, he’s a great person. Great offensive coordinator. I was very lucky to have him my first year, learned a lot from him. I think him and (Bears quarterback Justin Fields) will mesh well, and adding more guys around him I think it would be great. So we’ll see.”

No matter how weird that may look in written form, we promise you, it’s weirder when you hear (and witness) the very pregnant pause in JSN’s response from the video here:

Was Smith-Njigba’s response really a “less than ringing endorsement,” as Carman termed it?

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Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy listened to the clip on the air Wednesday, then weighed in with their takes (listen in the second segment of the podcast here).

“I gotta say, if someone said, ‘Tell me about so and so,’ and I heard, ‘Uh… good luck to y’all,” I would not feel confident,” Stacy Rost said.

Her co-host, former Seahawks wide receiver and current analyst Michael Bumpus, has an interesting perspective on the exchange after having sat down with Smith-Njigba for an on-air conversation on Seattle Sports’ Hawks Live during the 2023 season.

“(Seahawks Radio Network analyst) Paul Moyer and I had the opportunity to interview JSN during the football season, Hawks Live every Thursday during the season, and Paul and I both walked away from that interview saying that is a genuine, smart, articulate young man. We believe in him,” Bumpus said. “So when I hear that genuine, smart, articulate young man really hesitate to say what it seems like was really on his mind, it makes me question.”

That being said, there’s also the possibility that JSN, who will turn just 22 years old next week, was just feeling out of his element while doing promotional interviews. Then again, it’s hard to know if he just didn’t click with Waldron in their one year together in Seattle.

“Now, you also got to realize he’s a rookie, right?” Bumpus said. “And he’s coming into this situation (with the Seahawks in 2023) as the No. 20 (overall) draft pick, he probably wanted more targets – who knows what that relationship personally could have been like, but it felt like there was something there. I don’t want to speculate too much because Shane just got a job with Chicago. It’s not like Chicago’s looking at the film and saying, ‘What the heck is Shane doing?’ Maybe there’s something personally between those two that didn’t really click, but yeah, that long pause is cause for some concern.”

By the way, CHGO wasn’t the only Chicago outlet to ask Smith-Njigba about Waldron. He also did an interview Wednesday for NBC Sports Chicago, and while his answer there didn’t have the same kind of long pause, it probably isn’t going to convince anyone already skeptical about the JSN/Waldron dynamic that the former Ohio State star is actually a big fan of his former OC.

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