On Wednesday, the Seattle Seahawks receiver was at Radio Row in Las Vegas for Super Bowl week, alongside his former Ohio State teammate Chris Olave. JSN stopped by CHGO Sports for a chat with host Mark Carman, who asked him about former Seahawks OC and newly hired Chicago Bears coordinator Shane Waldron. The response? Seems like it could be interpreted in many ways.
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
First, there was silence. Then he asked, “This is live?” before seemingly jokingly saying, “I’m playing.”
He formulated an actual response after that bit of awkwardness.
“Good luck to y’all,” he said. “He’s a great person, great offensive coordinator. I was very lucky to have him my first year, learned a lot from him. I think him and Justin [Fields] will mesh well.”
Fields, of course, was JSN’s quarterback at Ohio State, but depending on what the Bears do in the next few weeks, he may not be the Bears quarterback anymore. Chicago owns the No. 1 overall pick and would likely take USC’s Caleb Williams if they desire a different starter.
Ordinarily I’d just chuckle a bit and move on, but maybe there is something deeper to this. He caught 63 passes for 628 yards and 4 touchdowns, which is pretty good considering he’s behind DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in the depth chart. However, his average depth of target was just 6.1 yards, the 2nd lowest among rookie wideouts with at least 20 receptions. At Ohio State, his average depth of target was 9.3 yards, but the Buckeyes used him primarily in the slot and as a yards after catch maestro.
Share of yards from catches 10+ depth downfield (2023 WRs) pic.twitter.com/bOHslcPDrl— Football Insights (@fball_insights) February 9, 2023
JSN did lead all Seahawks receivers in YAC/reception, trailing DK Metcalf by a single yard in overall YAC. He’s a major reason the Seahawks, for once, actually had a net-positive screen game.
There will be a new OC in town for JSN’s second season. Ideally, his role will expand and it’s possible he may overtake Tyler Lockett on the depth chart.
Is this radio interview something or nothing from Jaxon Smith-Njigba? Let us know in the comments section!