Bears Hire Shane Waldron As OC

The Bears’ search for a new offensive coordinator is set to come to an end. Chicago is finalizing an agreement with Seahawks OC Shane Waldron, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Waldron was one of several staffers who interviewed for the position after Luke Getsy was fired. That move came as little surprise after Chicago failed to take a tangible step forward in the passing game this season. Improvement in that regard will be a top priority for Waldron, head coach Matt Eberflus and whichever quarterback the Bears make a commitment to for 2024 and beyond.

The Bears requested an interview with nine OC candidates, beginning with Waldron. The 44-year-old has served as Seattle’s play-caller for the past three seasons, and he drew praise for his work in the 2022 season in particular. Quarterback Geno Smith enjoyed a resurgent campaign that year, and he earned himself a new contract in the process. Smith and the Seahawks did not follow up as expected in 2023, however, ranking 17th in scoring and 21st in total offense en route to missing the postseason.

A step forward from those figures will be needed in the future to help Chicago return to postseason contention. The Bears showed signficant improvement on defense in the second half of the campaign, but they finished the season ranked just 27th in passing yards per game. That showing contrasts with the team’s second-place finish in rushing, and a better balance will need to be struck in either another year with Justin Fields at the helm or a rookie season for the top pick in April’s draft.

If the Bears do elect to move on from Fields and start over using the No. 1 selection, they will likely do so by adding Caleb Williams. For that reason, it was particularly notable when USC quarterbacks coach Kliff Kingsbury found himself on the Bears’ radar by receiving an interview request. Kingsbury and Williams worked together in 2023 with the Trojans, so adding them as a package deal this offseason would have come as little surprise. Williams may well find himself in Chicago soon, but it will be Waldron in charge of the offense if that happens.

The latter began his NFL coaching career in 2008 with the Patriots before spending time in the UFL and the college ranks. Waldron put himself on the coordinator radar during his four-year tenure with the Rams, which included three seasons as the team’s passing game coordinator. After a three-year run in Seattle, he will look to deliver more consistent results in Chicago.

As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes, the Bears attempted to speak with Chargers OC Kellen Moore for their vacancy, but they were blocked from doing so. Moore has spoken with Los Angeles about the team’s head coaching position, so it comes as little surprise an opportunity for a lateral move was denied. While Moore’s future remains in the air, Waldron’s is now clear as he prepares for a move to the Windy City.

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