The Bears decided on Shane Waldron as their offensive coordinator Monday and announced the hire today. Chicago’s move came after Waldron generated extensive interest elsewhere.
Three other teams pursued Waldron or were planning to do so. The Saints and Patriots met with the three-year Seahawks OC prior to his Bears commitment, according to NewOrleans.football’s Nick Underhill and SI.com’s Albert Breer. Additionally, Waldron appeared on the Raiders‘ OC radar, per Breer. The Saints requested a Waldron interview last week, and he took the meeting.
While it is not known how serious of a candidate Waldron was with New England or New Orleans, Chicago landing him is interesting. The Bears are giving the former Seahawks play-caller an immediate second chance, and they will do so amid an uncertain point on their timeline. Waldron would appear set to mentor either Justin Fields or Caleb Williams, with the Bears having the chance to either make a No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 1947 or trade it for a second straight year. Taking a job under these circumstances is interesting, and it is worth wondering what intel was shared in Bears OC meetings.
Regardless, Waldron is replacing Luke Getsy as Chicago’s play-caller. He will do so for a coach who will enter the season on a hot seat. Matt Eberflus staved off a firing, but Waldron is joining a Bears team that had been linked to considering a change after two seasons. The Saints bring a similar setup, with Dennis Allen staying in place despite two sub-.500 seasons. The Patriots join the Saints in continuing to look for a play-caller; Bill O’Brien left to become Ohio State’s OC.
The Patriots and Saints have each met with Rams QBs coach Zac Robinson and Bengals QBs coach Dan Pitcher. Both are on the Raiders’ radar as well. After the Seahawks managed to stay afloat despite trading the best quarterback in franchise history (Russell Wilson), teams were naturally interested in meeting a meeting with Waldron, who is yet another former Sean McVay assistant to move up the ladder.
Waldron is moving to fill some positions on the Bears’ offensive staff. He is arranging interviews with Chad Morton, Sanjay Lal and Kerry Joseph for Bears posts, CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones notes. Morton has been with the Seahawks since 2014, most recently serving as the team’s run-game coordinator. Lal has already enjoyed two stints with the Seahawks in the 2020s, the most recent — 2022-23 — as wide receivers coach. Joseph has been Seattle’s assistant QBs coach throughout Waldron’s tenure. Looking for a new head coach for the first time since 2010, the Seahawks did not block Waldron from lateral moves and are letting their assistants explore jobs elsewhere.