The Chicago Bears spent Wednesday firing most of their offensive staff. On Thursday, they started their search for a new offensive coordinator. Two names are linked to the team, Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and San Francisco 49ers passing game coordinator Klint Kubiak.
One of the big questions for whoever is the new coordinator is whether he will work with quarterback Justin Fields or with one of the rookie prospects. At the end-of-season press conference, general manager Ryan Poles, president Kevin Warren, and head coach Matt Eberflus were asked about the status of Fields.
They all did not say one way or another what the plans were. Poles said the team was in information-gathering mode. He said the team loves the progress Fields made but they had to be diligent with the number one pick they have.
The Chicago Bears requested permission to talk to two coaches already. Do the names indicate how they'll handle Justin Fields?
Of course, we would not expect the team to give out their plans publicly. If they give admit publicly that they want to trade Fields it would drop his value in a trade. However, they could be tipping their hand by seeing who they interview.
For those expecting the team to trade Fields, Waldron would make them rethink that idea. Waldron comes from the Sean McVay coaching tree. He was with McVay in Los Angeles with the Rams, then moved on to the Washington Commanders. In 2021, he became the Seahawks' offensive coordinator.
Now that Pete Carroll is out as the Seahawks' head coach, Waldron is available. He was credited with resurrecting the career of a quarterback with similar tools as Fields -- Geno Smith. Smith had just five starts in seven seasons. However, he had a breakout season in 2022, completing 69.8% of passes, throwing for 30 TD passes and 11 interceptions, having a 100.9 passer rating in his second Seattle season and first as starter.
Now Waldron can come to Chicago and help Fields be the quarterback the Chicago Bears feel he could be.
Kubiak is just 36 years old but has been in coaching since 2010. After three years in the college ranks he became the Minnesota Vikings offensive quality control coach. He returned to college before coming back to the league as an offensive assistant with the Denver Broncos. He flip-flopped between Minnesota and Denver before becoming the passing game coordinator for San Francisco in 2023.
Kubiak has worked closely with Niners quarterback Brock Purdy. In his time with the Vikings and the Broncos, he had experience as an offensive coordinator. He interviewed for the offensive coordinator jobs with the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coming from the Shanahan coaching tree, he is a popular name. The Bears might be hoping to strike early.
We need to remember that this was just the first name out there for the Bears. There will certainly be a few more interviews. We can expect a variety of different types of coaches to keep people off the scent of what they want. They want to get the most they can with either trading Fields or trading the top pick. What we do know is that this will be a busy and very interesting offseason for the Chicago Bears.