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LAS VEGAS — The Chicago Bears officially announced Shane Waldron as the team’s next offensive coordinator on Jan. 23. Since the former Seahawks coordinator was hired by Chicago, there has been overwhelming high praise by many on the new addition to the Bears’ staff.
His 19 years of coaching experience and having a background with Pete Carroll, Sean McVay and Bill Belichick give him a unique and diverse perspective on how to attack opposing defenses. Waldron also played a pivotal role in helping Geno Smith have his career resurrected in Seattle.
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To get a good perspective on what Waldron brings as an offensive coordinator, it’s always valuable to ask a player who has been in his scheme. Jaxon Smith-Njigba played under Waldron as a rookie last season. The former Ohio State wide receiver caught 63 passes for 628 yards and four touchdowns.
Smith-Njigba was asked about his thoughts on his former playcaller. His reaction and response to the question said it all.
After seven seconds of silence, Smith-Njigba’s first words were, “This is live?” and then followed up shortly after by saying, “Good luck to y’all.” The rookie receiver also called Waldon a “great person” and “great offensive coordinator.”
Even though Smith-Njigba compliments Waldron, he didn’t provide an initial positive response on the Bears’ new OC. It’s something worth noting, but it wouldn’t be fair to only paint the picture on Waldron with Smith-Njiba’s response.
NBC Sports NFL Analyst and co-host of Pro Football Talk Chris Simms has watched and evaluated a lot of football in his time. As a former quarterback himself, he understands what an offense looks like when it’s complimenting a player’s strengths.
Here is what Simms had to say when asked about Waldron and what is offense could do regardless of who is playing under center for the Bears in 2024.
“Waldon’s offense is not totally different than Getsy’s,” Simms said. “Got a little bit of background with Russell Wilson and a moving quarterback to a degree. Little more rooted in maybe McVay-ness as far as Shane Waldron. He wants to throw the ball as we know, but they don’t forget about the run game. McVay and company play under the center. That’s why sometimes too even though I say like, ‘Oh, I think it’s Caleb Williams. I go wait. Shane Waldron he might want to run fake speed sweep, fake the run, do all of that type of stuff.’ And Caleb Williams you don’t see him do that type of stuff too much. Waldron’s offense has it all. It’s got all the answers certainly and in a lot of ways I think this offensive talent that Waldron has in Chicago is really more complete than he had in Seattle.”
Another former quarterback who has always been around the game of football is Nate Tice. The former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback now is a host for the Athletic Football Show.
Here are Tice’s thoughts on Waldron’s offense.
“No matter who it is under center, what I like about Waldron is he runs everything,” Tice said. “So he is going to be able to adapt a little bit to his personnel. I thought last year the issues weren’t really him. The offensive line had a lot of injuries in Seattle. The running backs, Kenneth Walker, is very boom, busty. So they would be blocked well. Like the run game was very like this (up and down hand motion). It’s very high and lows with that offense, but it’s very aggressive. He loves pushing the ball with Geno (Smith). That’s also if they do go with (Drake) Maye, even Caleb (Williams) Caleb will push it. Even (Jayden) Daniels will push it. Any of those guys that matches, too. He likes to push the ball, play action and drop back stuff. There’s creativity, too. They’ll run some funky formations stuff, so he does try to throw some new elements in there. I think Seahawks fans will say third downs and red zone were a big issue. And I would say the red zone again was the offensive line and I would also say the third down stuff was the receivers were really wonky. … I like the design. Everything was sound and I think the personnel is going to match what he likes to do, too.”
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