LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The question about the Chicago Bears quarterback situation for the 2024 season hasn’t been decided.

New Bears offensive coordinator Shane Waldron is certain he’ll be able to make it work whether with quarterback Justin Fields or the first pick in the draft.

“Yeah, I totally believe that,” Waldron said. “I think in the past experiences, like I said, 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, the former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator, and new Bears defensive coordinator Eric Washington met Thursday with Chicago reporters for the first time since their hirings last month.

Waldron is tasked with getting more from an offense that was mired in the bottom half of the league. While Washington won’t call defensive plays as he assists head coach Matt Eberflus in maintaining the progress of an improving group.

Although neither Waldron nor anyone with the Bears are revealing their plans at quarterback, he did say his only contact with Fields has been an exchange of messages.

Eberflus feels certain Waldron can meet one key requirement after a 7-10 season when the Bears were 20th on offense and 27th in passing.

“You’ve gotta be able to adapt during the course of the season,” Eberflus said. “You’re going to have injuries at times. You’re going to have different skill sets in there. In-game adaptability — you’ve gotta have in-game tactics.

“That’s an important part during the process of hiring the coordinators, and obviously being a leader.”

Waldron helped quarterback Geno Smith improve his career in Seattle to have a passer rating of 97.3 over four seasons. He had never been above 87.9 for his first six NFL seasons.

The offense he has brought from Seattle, after learning it under Sean McVay with the Rams, is a key part of the success he had with Smith.

“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 and then be able to go,” Waldron said.

Now he relishes the opportunity to work with Fields or a potentially newly drafted quarterback in it.

“Yeah, I think when you look at it from either lens right now obviously it’s a unique spot in the draft to have the first overall pick, (and) the ninth overall pick, just from an organization in general, you know, it’s not going to happen too often,” Waldron said. “And again, every year is so individually based. 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 (last year) and that’s having displayed the ability to win football games and make plays. So I think the combination of those two things is really intriguing.”

Whichever player is at quarterback, Waldron thinks his own experience calling plays for Pete Carroll can meet Eberflus’ expectations for adaptability.

“You know, the more reps you accumulate, the more situations that are put in front of you, the more and more natural it becomes to react with a positive decision in those scenarios right there,” Waldron said.

For Washington, it’s a return to a familiar place. He started his NFL coaching career in 2008 as a Bears defensive assistant under Lovie Smith.

After being a defensive coordinator in Carolina and defensive line coach in Buffalo, he succeeds Alan Williams. He resigned in Week 3 of the 2023 season and Eberflus called defensive plays the rest of the way as that group improved to 12th in the league.

It didn’t hurt when the Bears traded for edge rusher Montez Sweat, whose arrival triggered the resurgence. Washington was working with players such as Adewale Ogunleye, Alex Brown and Tommie Harris when he was previously with the Bears.

“We’d like to be, we’re going to be, a team that generates pressure with our front four,” Washington said. “We’re going to build the best pass rush in football. That happens to be, fortunately, an area that I’ve had tremendous success with and we have the personnel to get that done.”

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