The Bears’ hiring of Shane Waldron confirms Bears QB plans for 2024, according to one NFL insider
The Bears search for an offensive coordinator is over. The replacement for Luke Getsy has been hired, Seattle’s Shane Waldron. Waldron has the unique opportunity to construct an offense from scratch, and according to a new report, he may get a rookie QB to go along with it.
NFL insider Brad Spielberger reported on the CHGO podcast that the primary reason for hiring Shane Waldron was that the Bears would be selecting Caleb Williams in the 2024 NFL draft.
— Magnetic Curses (Sulley) (@KangintheNorth) January 22, 2024
Where does Spielberger’s certainty come from?
Brad Spielberger is an NFL salary cap expert who works with PFF and contributes to other NFL data collection sites. He also is a former employee of the Minnesota Vikings. He has extended connections in the NFL world, his intel is believable.
Other people have been reporting the Bears will be drafting a QB more frequently in the past few weeks as well. Benjamin Allbright and Mel Kiper have both predicted that the Bears will draft USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the number one overall pick.
Shane Waldron’s scheme is a better fit for Caleb Williams
Another reason as to why Spielberger is so confident that the Bears will draft Williams after hiring Waldron, is the type of offense Waldron runs. Shane Waldron like to run a pass heavy offense with complex passing concepts that spread the ball around to many targets. Under Waldron, the Seahawks had multiple ball catchers with 100 or more receptions in all three of his seasons with the team.
Waldron also runs an offense very light on running formations and plays. The Seahawks have been in the bottom 5 in number of rushing attempts twice under Waldron. All this scheme talk means is that Justin Fields is not the ideal fit for Waldron’s offense.
This less than ideal fit with Fields more likely than not means he will be traded. According to an NFL draft analyst, Fields has potentially high trade value. Getting more assets for trading Justin Fields might be too good to pass up. There are teams like Atlanta who have a solid roster but major questions at the QB position. They might be willing to part with some valuable draft capital to get him.
One of Justin Fields biggest strengths is his ability to run the football. On broken down plays or QB designed runs he is able to gash defenses for big yards. Waldron’s offense in Seattle showed no evidence of containing QB run plays. The caveat here is Geno Smith, Seattle’s QB, is not a rushing QB. So there is a chance that Waldron could adjust his scheme slightly to accommodate Fields skill set. The stats discussed above point to that not happening, Waldron doesn’t call run plays nearly as much as other OC’s.
Shane Waldron’s offense has a much more cohesive overall fit with Caleb Williams.
Williams is a much better fit for Shane Waldron’s scheme because of his strengths. Williams has a strong arm and is able to operate well within rhythm or out of structure as a passer. He also has great improvisation skills, being able to extend plays when they start to break down. Williams rushing ability is also not something to scoff at, he can be a lethal rusher as well.
Williams is more Mahomes-like in both his skill set and play style, which was pointed out by Williams QB coach at USC Kliff Kingsbury. A QB like that slots in more naturally to Waldron’s scheme that Justin Fields does.
It is also worth noting that Waldron chose Chicago over many other teams who were looking to hire him. Waldron must be confident in Ryan Poles plan for the offseason for him to decide to join the Bears.
Getting to work with a top QB prospect is an intriguing task for any offensive coordinator. Waldron has proved he can get solid play out of a career journeyman like Geno Smith. Now can he design a successful new offense with a rookie on the team? Only time will tell.
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