CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears are finalizing a deal to make Shane Waldron their next offensive coordinator, a source confirmed to ESPN.
Waldron, 44, was the first of nine reported candidates the Bears requested to interview after firing former offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and four members of the offensive staff on Jan. 10. He comes to Chicago after spending the past three seasons as the team's offensive coordinator. Seattle Seahawks.
Waldron began his NFL coaching career as an offensive quality control coach with New England in 2008 and later became the Patriots' head coach. After stops in the United Football League and at UMass, Waldron returned to the NFL in 2016 with Washington before spending four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, where he coached tight ends (2017), quarterbacks (2019) and served as passing game coordinator. .
Including Waldron, Chicago interviewed four offensive coordinator candidates who coached under Sean McVay. Other candidates from McVay's coaching tree include Liam Quinn, Thomas Brown and Zac Robinson.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Sunday that the Bears have also requested an interview with Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who was blocked by Los Angeles after interviewing for the head coaching vacancy last week.
Waldron brings three seasons of playing experience to Chicago. He became Seattle's offensive coordinator during Russell Wilson's final season with the Seahawks in 2021 and coached Geno Smith to his best season the following season, when the quarterback ranked first in completion percentage (69.8), fourth in touchdowns (30), and fifth in passer rating ( 100.9), seventh in QBR (62.8) and eighth in passing yards (4,282).
Seattle's offense ranks 17th in points per game (21.4) and 21st in yards per game (322.9) in 2023. The Bears rank 18th (21.2) and 20th (232.2) in those categories, respectively.
Chicago's offensive imbalance between having the league's No. 2 rushing attack while ranking 27th in passing was the motivation behind the Bears moving on from Getsy after two seasons.
“Obviously you want to have someone who is a great mentor,” Bears coach Matt Eberflus said when asked what the team is looking for in its next offensive coordinator. “I think that's important because you know he has to train coaches to coach that position. And I think that's the No. 1 trait of any great coach. You have to be able to have the creativity to really look at the players that you're dealing with.” “You have the ability to help enhance Those guys and put them in a position to be successful and have explosiveness and move the ball up the field. So I think that's the most important thing, with the teacher being a part of it and then innovation being a part of it, creativity I think is going to be the biggest part.”
Waldron will arrive in Chicago during a pivotal season centered around the organization's decision at quarterback. Over the next three months, the team will need to decide whether to use the No. 1 overall pick on USC's Caleb Williams or another rookie or move on with quarterback Justin Fields entering his fourth season.
During his season-ending press conference on January 10, general manager Ryan Bowles said he didn't feel the team needed to be fully clear on the direction it would go at the quarterback position when interviewing offensive coordinator candidates.
“No, I like it because you have to, what are you going to do for these four different types of quarterbacks?” said the Poles. “I want to hear that, and it's really important to see the diversity and adaptability in their teaching and the way they plan and plan and adjust. I think that makes it very dynamic in terms of the interview process.”
News of Waldron's hiring was first reported by NFL Network.
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