There are two NFL fanbases excited about the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator hiring Monday morning–the Bears and Seattle Seahawks.
The Chicago Bears go with a safe-on-paper choice
The Bears made a bland but safe choice to hire Shane Waldron as Luke Getsy’s replacement. Waldron comes from the Sean McVay coaching tree. He has three years of experience as an NFL offensive coordinator–with the Seahawks. He received praise in NFL circles for quarterback Geno Smith’s resurgence in 2022.
As Mark Potash with the Chicago Sun-Times points out, Waldron looks like an upgrade from Getsy on paper.
Hired by Bill Belichick … Sean McVay seal of approval … four seasons under McVay … hired by Pete Carroll … o-line and special teams coaching experience … a former long-snapper … Fields/Williams flexibility — on paper, the Bears got the upgrade they were looking for. https://t.co/nPX6uFvurS
— Mark Potash (@MarkPotash) January 22, 2024
But how big of an upgrade is Waldron?
The Bears actually averaged more yards per game (323.2) than the Seahawks (322.9) did this season. The Bears averaged 21.2 points per game in 2023 compared to 21.4 for the Seahawks. The Seahawks’ offensive regression in 2023 was so bad fans and pundits were calling for Waldron’s head from November to January.
Shane Waldron was one of the reasons Pete Carroll got canned
Then head coach Pete Carroll called out Waldron following the Seahawks’ 31-13 loss on Nov. 13th to the San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks offense performed terribly against good teams this season. They failed to score 20 points in any of their four games against the Los Angeles Rams and 49ers. They scored three points against the Baltimore Ravens and 13 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
It’s incredible what a fantastic 2022 season bought Waldron in terms of credibility for the Bears to hire him as an offensive coordinator. Because the Seahawks’ offensive struggles this season were a significant reason why Carroll was fired at the end of the season.
Reader beware, this is a Matt Eberflus’ hire
Waldron will head to Chicago after a season. Most Bears fans thought Eberflus should be fired. Waldron isn’t a sexy hire for the Eberflus staff, but he’s precisely the type of offensive coordinator one would expect the Bears to hire when they decided to retain Eberflus.
The Seahawks’ trash has become the Bears’ treasure.
The Bears will ask Waldron to revive Justin Fields’ career or develop a rookie quarterback. That’s an incredible task for an offensive coordinator getting the boot from Seattle.
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