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Bears OC: Offense will suit, adapt to whoever is QB

David Berding / Getty Images Sport / Getty

As the Chicago Bears consider whether they should keep Justin Fields or draft a new quarterback first overall this year, new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron said he's optimistic that his system will be the right one for whoever is under center for the team.

"I think in the past experiences with different quarterbacks, different experience levels, whether I was in the coordinator role or in a role as a position coach, I felt that way," Waldron said on Thursday during his introductory press conference, according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin.

"I felt different quarterbacks have been able to step foot into the system, be able to learn it quickly, and that starts with us being able to teach it in a good and efficient manner where they understand it."

After serving as the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks from 2021-23, Waldron joined Chicago in January to replace Luke Getsy. He mainly worked with three quarterbacks in Seattle: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith, and Drew Lock. Waldron was previously the Los Angeles Rams' passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach while working with signal-caller Jared Goff.

Waldron added that his offense in Chicago will be able to "adjust the scheme to the player's skill set."

The Bears own the first pick of the 2024 NFL Draft (via the Carolina Panthers) and are projected to select USC quarterback Caleb Williams. That would presumably end the Fields era in Chicago four years after the team drafted him 11th overall.

Chicago also has the No. 9 choice in this year's draft.

"It's not going to happen too often," Waldron said of the Bears having a pair of top-10 picks. "This is that year, and then also the core, the group of players that is already in place on offense, including the quarterback that played at a high level and that displayed the ability to win football games and make plays."

Fields, who's expected to be traded this offseason, recently unfollowed the Bears on Instagram. However, the 24-year-old downplayed his decision on Wednesday, saying he hopes to remain with the team.

Since entering the NFL, Fields has had his moments, largely thanks to his rushing ability. He ran for 1,143 yards and eight touchdowns in 2022. But he hasn't taken his game to the next level as a passer and has yet to throw for more than 3,000 yards or 17 touchdowns in a season. The Bears posted a 10-28 record with him as the starter.

Williams is widely considered the top prospect in the 2024 draft. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner spent his college career at Oklahoma and USC.

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