New OC Shane Waldron On Bears offense, upcoming QB decision
Waldrop talked to the media on Thursday

New OC Shane Waldron On Bears offense, upcoming QB decision

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - After the disaster that was Luke Getsy as offensive coordinator, Chicago has officially turned the page, introducing new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron to the media Thursday. Waldron comes from the Seattle Seahawks and brought a few members of his staff from Seattle to Chicago.

He took the opportunity to lay out some of the things he is looking for in the offensive coaching staff for the upcoming season.

“I’m looking forward to a group who can put together a great effort on the field, display great toughness and then work when together,” Waldron said. “So, we put together a staff that we feel like can really encapsulate all those traits, everything that we’re looking for and with that, being adaptable. It’s a game where things change, players change. Can we adapt? Can we overcome certain situations? And I feel like we have that.”

Coming from a team with two dynamic receivers in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf who also had rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba this past season, he knows how to work with elite receiver talent. Thus, he should have no problem developing a relationship with DJ Moore, who has worked with a lot of quarterbacks and coaches during his NFL career.

Waldron will be looking to develop relationships with his players, particularly around OTAs, and build off of where the Bears offense left off last season.

“Just excited about some of the explosive playmakers, some of the core foundational pieces that we have up front and then some of the toughness in the runners, things they’ve displayed on tape right there and obviously, at the quarterback position, with that ability to be explosive, to be a playmaker, to work off schedule, those things are all good pieces to an offense that really finished strong last year and I’m looking really to see how can we, as an offensive staff, look to build on that, how do we incorporate our system with a bunch of great players that have had success in this league,” Waldron said. “This is a business time of year, but it’s a relationship-based business and for me as a coach coming in, the best chance to start developing those real relationships is when OTAs get going, when the offseason program begins, when we get a chance to, outside being able to reach out to guys, just say hello, introduce myself, get a chance to spend time with them, get them a chance to know our coaches, get a chance to know them outside of just football, Xs and Os, because I think we know each other, once you do develop relationships with people, like I said is an in-person thing in my mind, then you get a chance to really coach them harder, coach them better, understand how they work and how we would interact together.”

Moore is one of several current Chicago players who have spoken out in support of quarterback Justin Fields and wanting him back next season. Some thought who the Bears hired as offensive coordinator would provide some insight into whether they were leaning toward Fields, USC quarterback Caleb Williams who in all likelihood will be drafted with the No. 1 overall, or some other quarterback.

However, Waldron said that he feels his offensive scheme can work with an experienced quarterback or a rookie.

“With different quarterbacks, different experience levels, whether I was in the coordinator role or in a role as a position coach, it felt that way,” Waldron said. “It felt (like) different quarterbacks have been able to step foot into the system, be able to learn it quickly and that’s with us being able to teach it in a good and efficient manner where they understand it, and then being able to go and adjust it because each guy is going to have a different skill set. So, what direction does it go? The players really take ownership and control of that.”

A frequent question throughout Waldron’s introductory press conference was the amount of communication he has had with Fields. After mostly dancing around the question, he said the two had “exchanged messages,” but did not elaborate beyond that.

This vagueness went both ways, though, as he refused to specifically discuss a single quarterback prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft. Nonetheless, he did acknowledge that being out in Seattle, he did see more about the Pac-12. Still, he sees the upcoming NFL Combine, which will feature the quarterbacks on March 2 (10 a.m./NFL Network), as a great opportunity to scout the prospects.

“Obviously, me being out on the West Coast, I get a little more exposure to the Pac-12,” Waldron said. “So, in terms of that, it’s been more generalities, seeing all these guys perform at a high level under the national spotlight, especially there’s multiple quarterbacks that have already performed on the highest stage, in big games, and obviously (Caleb Williams) is one of them and excited to really, when we start this afternoon with some of our draft process, then the Combine kicks off. To me, that’s a chance to really dive into this and get going.”

Going into the hiring process of an offensive coordinator, there was some thought that the uncertainty about who would be the starting quarterback would be a drawback for interviewees because they would not know what kind of quarterback they were working with. However, Waldron saw it as a positive as this situation allows him the chance to evaluate the options for who the quarterback will be and presumably have some input on the matter.

“Having a unique scenario like this where you have the first pick and the ninth pick in the draft, to get a chance to be a part of an organization as storied as this one is, I think all those things go into it,” Waldron said. “It just felt very comfortable very quickly with meeting those guys and then obviously having that piece of the draft puzzle where you get a chance to evaluate so many top players around the college game with those two high picks made it totally appealing.”

The NFL Combine will prove to be one of many crucial events in the upcoming weeks along with the start of free agency and Pro Days at colleges around the country and, of course, the NFL Draft. Whatever Chicago decides to do leading up to the draft should let fans know what their plans for the future are.

“Moving forward, over the next several weeks will allow us to start to make some decisions, not just at (quarterback) but at all the spots because, obviously, free agency is right in front of us right now. So, being able to put all those things together is all part of the process,” Waldron said. “But, for us, too, there’s that process there of having a foundation as coaches and knowing what we want to be, how we want to present this so that when we do start talking about the players, how are they fitting in with everything that we’re looking to do.”

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