The Chicago Bears have a big decision to make at quarterback. It seems that they made their decision and their hires on offense signal it.
The Chicago Bears kicked off their offseason by trying to set up their coaching staff. Days after their season ended, they fired nearly the entire offensive coaching staff, led by offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. They then started a search for a new offensive coordinator.
Last week, after nine interviews the Bears hired former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron to do the same in Chicago. Days later, they hired Kerry Joseph to be the quarterbacks coach.
While Chicago also hired a defensive coordinator over the weekend, the main concern is what happens at quarterback. Do the moves the Bears made last week signal their plans?
Well, since general manager Ryan Poles and his team aren’t saying anything (yet), we only have speculation. Many people have analyzed every move he’s made. If he sneezes a certain way they speculate it has something to do with whether he’ll keep Justin Fields or use the #1 pick on Caleb Williams.
Until he makes his final move and says something about it, we only have speculation. However, we can try to look at some of the facts already in front of us to at least make an educated guess. The moves Poles made could signal what decision the Chicago Bears made one way or another.
Let’s take a look at what Poles’ moves could signal.
What does the Waldron hiring signal? Well, Waldron came in having worked with Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, and Geno Smith. Goff had some of his best seasons when he was with the Los Angeles Rams. Waldron was the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
In 2021, Waldron went to Seattle to become their offensive coordinator. He had Russell Wilson as his quarterback. It did not go as well as planned. A big reason for that was that Wilson dealt with injury.
The Seahawks traded Wilson to the Denver Broncos and Smith took over. Under Waldron, Smith had a career resurgence. In 2022, he led the NFL in completion percentage, fourth in passing touchdowns, and eighth in passing yards.
What Waldron does not have is experience in taking a rookie quarterback and molding him.
The Chicago Bears did interview Kliff Kingsbury, who worked with Williams in 2023. Kingsbury is fond of using the air raid offense, a wide-open high-tempo system. Instead, the Bears went with the Sean McVay coaching tree. He uses the West Coast offense using a wide zone run.
Joseph is a more interesting hire that could signal the Chicago Bears’ plans. As much as Waldron worked with Smith, it was Joseph who had the day-to-day interaction with Smith. He took over as quarterbacks coach for the Seahawks at the same time Smith took over as starting quarterback.
Just like Waldron, Joseph does not have experience developing a rookie quarterback. He worked well with Smith, a veteran.
Joseph played in the NFL from 1998-2001. He was a quarterback at McNeese State but had to switch to defensive back. After he left the league, he went to the Canadian Football League and had some success as a quarterback.
Joseph was a running quarterback, similar to Fields. He was the third quarterback in the CFL to rush for over 1,000 yards (Fields was the third quarterback to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season). In his CFL career, he passed for 28,097 yards and rushed for 4,584 yards.
What do these hirings mean for the quarterback situation?
By looking into these hirings, they could mean that Poles and the Chicago Bears are planning on keeping Fields. Throw in the fact that Poles stated his desire to build the roster through the draft.
Trading last year’s #1 pick gave the Chicago Bears a great number of more picks and D.J. Moore. Trading this year’s pick, with the hype over Williams, could bring in even more. With the holes the roster still has, acquiring as many picks as possible is best.
Many people make the decision a “Williams vs Fields” battle. However, it isn’t that. It is a Williams vs Fields, two or three first-round picks, a second-round pick, future picks, and a key veteran. Viewing it as that makes the decision a pretty easy one for Poles.
Waldron and Joseph have experience in helping veteran quarterbacks improve. Neither one has experience taking a rookie and developing him. This could be a case of the Chicago Bears holding onto Fields and building around him.
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