Shane Waldron gets a negative and positive endorsement from one of his former players
On Wednesday at the Superbowl, a Seahawks receiver was a guest on CHGO Bears. That receiver was the Seahawks’ 2023 first-round draft pick Jaxon Smith-Njigba. He joined the show to discuss what it was like playing for new Bears offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. Smith-Njigba had to think for a few seconds before responding. The silence was quite telling.
Then Smith-Njigba asks if the podcast is live before providing his response. Smith-Njigba starts with what sounds like he wanted to say, which wasn’t a glowing endorsement.
“This is live? I’m playing, good luck to y’all.”
Then Smith-Njigba moves on to a more professional response where he gives Shane Waldron some credit. This seems more like a professional and courteous response rather than Smith-Njigba speaking what he truly thinks.
“I mean he’s a great person great offensive coordinator I was lucky to have him my first year learned a lot from him.”
Then Smith-Njigba brought up Justin Fields, who he played with at Ohio State in 2020. The receiver thinks that Fields and Waldron would be a good pairing.
“I think him and Justin will mesh well and adding more guys around him, I think that would be great, so we’ll see. He’s gonna love Justin, so really just, Justin be yourself and go make plays.”
Fields and Smith-Njigba had great success together at Ohio State.. Smith-Njigba is giving an endorsement to a guy he used to play with, that’s what players do. Smith-Njigba’s comments on Fields shouldn’t be looked into too much. He isn’t necessarily being neutral when he talks about his former college quarterback.
Could Shane Waldron help take Fields to the next level? Sure, but he could potentially also do that with Caleb Williams or any other QB? Yes, that could also be true. Take Smith-Njigba’s comments about Shane Waldron and Justin Fields being a good pairing with a grain of salt.
Below is the Clip from Smith-Njigba on CHGO Bears talking about Shane Waldron.
The silence was LOUD when we asked Jaxon Smith-Njigba about new Bears OC Shane Waldron😳 pic.twitter.com/r7beJgxEMq
— CHGO Bears (@CHGO_Bears) February 7, 2024
The importance of Shane Waldron
Shane Waldron will likely have a major impact on the Bears roster in 2024. As the person in charge of the offense, he will likely look to add some personnel of his choosing. Like investing more at the tight end position for example.
Waldron likes to utilize heavy sets in his scheme, so getting a second reliable pass catching tight end might be on the Bears docket. Whether it be in free agency or the draft, look for the Bears to address tight end in the off season.
Shane Waldron is an obvious upgrade over former Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. Waldron runs a more modern offense compared to Getsy’s more traditional approach.
However, it is important to note that Seattle and Chicago had similar offensive seasons, from a production standpoint The two teams were nearly identical in points per game. And the Bears also only recorded one more punt on the year than Seattle did.
A big factor to Seattle’s offensive regression could be injuries. The Seattle offensive line was already porous going into 2023. Then the unit sustained some brutal injuries early in the season. Which likely was a big contributor to the offense having a down year compared to 2022.
The full evaluation of how big an upgrade Shane Waldron is for the Bears will have to wait until the team takes the field in September. If the Bears O-Line can stay healthy there is a good chance the offense improves significantly over last year.
Hopefully, Waldron is the answer for the Bears, because if he isn’t the Bears will be trapped in the same cycle they have been struggling with for the past 30 or so years.
Full episode of CHGO Bears featuring Jaxon Smith-Njigba
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