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Coleman Shelton comfortable in Shane Waldron's offense


The chance to reunite with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron and play in his system factored into center Coleman Shelton's decision to sign with the Bears in free agency.

Shelton, 28, agreed to a one-year contract Thursday after spending the last five seasons with the Rams, appearing in 73 games with 32 starts. Waldron served as Los Angeles' passing game coordinator in 2019-20, doubling as quarterbacks coach in 2019.

"The comfortability with what was going on and being a center and being out there definitely played a factor," Shelton said Friday at Halas Hall. "I feel like I fit that scheme well … I think I run well. I think I block the second level well."

Asked about the scheme, Shelton said: "I've always liked how you can stretch a defense. It looks complex, but it feels simple to the offense. There's a bunch of things that come off of certain formations and you can always just fall back on your rules."

The Bears' storied history also lured Shelton to Chicago.

"It was super exciting to think about being able to put on that jersey," he said. "I was drawn into the history and to the city and to the legacy of the team, for sure."

Shelton entered the NFL in 2018 with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent from Washington. He was waived near the end of training camp and spent the second half of his rookie season on the Cardinals practice squad. He remained with Arizona until the next summer when he was waived and claimed by the Rams.

In 2021, Shelton appeared in all 17 games with two starts and also played in all four of the Rams' postseason contests, including a 23-20 victory over the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. The 6-4, 299-pounder joins the Bears after starting the Rams' last 26 games at center, the final nine contests in 2022 and all 17 last year.

Ogbongbemiga sees Eberflus as "great dude"

New Bears linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga was headed to his introductory press conference Friday at Halas Hall when he bumped into coach Matt Eberflus.

"Great dude, lots of energy, genuine," Ogbongbemiga said. "I see why the players rock with him because he's real and he brings a lot of juice. You can just tell that he loves ball. Those are the type of coaches you want to play for, the dudes who are just genuinely in love with the game and want to help you get better and help the team win. I think he has a great vision and it's just up to us and the staff and everybody involved to bring this vision to life."

The Bears' resurgence over the second half of last season—they went 5-3 following a 2-7 start—helped motivate Ogbongbemiga to sign with them in free agency.

"I just kind of saw what they had going on and I saw the trend that it was going, especially with how they ended the season last year," he said. "I saw they are headed in the right direction. They've got the right things going on and I feel like I can help take this to the next dimension they want to go to."

Ogbongbemiga was born in Nigeria. His family moved to Houston, Texas, when he was five years old and then to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, when he was 13.

The 6-foot, 231-pounder attended Oklahoma State, where he was named second-team All-Big 12 in 2019 and 2020. He signed with the Chargers in 2021 as an undrafted free agent and appeared in 47 games with two starts the past three seasons, playing 129 snaps on defense and 932 on special teams.

Ogbongbemiga hopes to become a core special teams player with the Bears.

"I feel like special teams is a lot about attitude," he said. "You've got to want to do it. A lot of people get that confused. It's a one-on-one play most of the time and it's like, 'What are you going to do against this man when he's trying to beat you?'

"I learned that with the great group of dudes I was with and I'm trying to bring that along and advance this unit to as good as I know it can be."

NFL journey a roller coaster for Pryor

Free agent signee Matt Pryor brings versatility and depth to the Bears offensive line. The 6-7, 332-pounder has played left tackle, right guard and right tackle over five NFL seasons with the Eagles (2019-20), Colts (2021-22) and 49ers (2023), appearing in 75 games with 25 starts.

"I take pride in being able to play across the line," Pryor said. "I've done it throughout my career. Everybody wants to settle into one position, but the best ability is availability, so I'm not against [playing different spots]. Whatever opportunity I get to get out there, that's what I'm going to do."

Selected by the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2018 draft out of TCU, Pryor made his first career start at right guard in a playoff loss to the Seahawks to cap his second season. He then appeared in 15 games with a career-high 10 starts in 2020.

The California native was traded to the Colts Aug. 31, 2021. After playing in all 17 games with five starts in 2021, he opened the 2022 season as Indianapolis' starting left tackle but eventually moved to right tackle and then right guard. During his first season with the Colts, Eberflus was the team's defensive coordinator.

"He puts that work ethic into everybody," Pryor said, "chasing the ball down the field in practice, and trying to build that chemistry across not just the defense but the whole team because at the end of the day, we might play on different sides of the ball, but it takes the whole team to win. That's what I love about the chemistry and what he's trying to do with the Bears organization."

Whatever Pryor's role is with the Bears, he intends to make the most of it.

"You only get one chance at this in your lifetime, so I try to take advantage of any opportunity I get," he said. "I've been through a lot. It's a roller coaster. That's just part of the league. You never know when your time is going to come or be taken, so whatever opportunity you get, you just take it and run with it. I'm just here to compete, try to get on the field again and help the team win."