Kerry Joseph is fired up about joining the Bears as their new quarterbacks coach.
The 51-year-old was hired last Friday after spending the last four seasons with the Seahawks under new Bears offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. In Seattle, Joseph served as an offensive assistant (2020), assistant receivers coach (2021) and assistant quarterbacks coach (2022-23).
"I'm excited about it and the opportunity to go to a historic organization and to bring my football knowledge and energy into the building and get to know people," Joseph told ChicagoBears.com. "I've heard so many great things about so many people within that building—coaches, personnel—and I'm just looking forward to the opportunity."
Joseph boasts a diverse background with experience on both sides of the ball. A star double-threat quarterback at McNeese State, he was converted to safety upon joining the Seahawks in 1999. He appeared in 56 games with 14 starts over four seasons, registering 143 tackles, three interceptions and 11 pass breakups.
Joseph then headed to the Canadian Football League, where he played quarterback for 11 years with the Ottawa Renegades (2003-05), Saskatchewan Roughriders (2006-07 and 2014), Toronto Argonauts (2008-09) and Edmonton Eskimos (2010-13).
In 2007, Joseph was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player after leading the Roughriders to a Grey Cup championship, passing for 4,002 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushing for 737 yards and 13 TDs.
Joseph's experience as a safety gives him a unique perspective as a quarterbacks coach.
"It helps because I can coach from a defensive mentality," he said. "Being able to see what the defense is trying to show them helps the quarterback. It gives him an advantage. That's where the plus came for me, playing on the defensive side and now being able to coach the offensive side."
Working with Waldron in Seattle, Joseph helped veteran quarterback Geno Smith resurrect his career. The past two seasons, Smith threw for 7,906 yards and 50 touchdowns while completing 67.3% of his passes. In 2022, Smith led the NFL in completion percentage (69.8) and ranked fourth in TD passes (30), fifth in passing rating (100.9) and eighth in passing yards (4,282).
As a coach, Joseph takes pride in his enthusiasm and ability to be an effective communicator and teacher.
"That's the biggest thing for me," he said, "because it's about how you convey the message to other players and to other coaches and people around you."
Take a look at the Bears' home and away matchups for the 2024 season. (Photos via Chicago Bears, NFL and AP)
Joseph is thrilled to be able to continue working with Waldron, who was hired by the Bears Jan. 23. Waldron is a highly-regarded offensive coordinator who spent four seasons on Sean McVay's staff with the Los Angeles Rams from 2017-20, including three as passing game coordinator.
"You're getting a smart football coach," Joseph said. "He's just a great coach and a great human being; a guy that loves football, he loves people, he loves being around the building. He brings a lot of energy and a passion about his job and just being able to coach. He's a players' coach. Guys are going to really love to be around him. Our coaches are going to love to coach with him."
Joseph lauds Waldron for his ability to connect with players and coaches and make adjustments during the week and throughout the course of a game.
"One thing I love about Shane is he values everyone's opinion on the staff," Joseph said. "He wants to hear from coaches to get your thoughts, get your ideas and then collectively come together and come up with the best plan to help our team be successful and put our players in the best place to be successful."
Joseph is already trying to help the Bears be successful; he's spending his first full week on the job coaching the quarterbacks on the American team at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Last year three of the Bears' first four draft picks—right tackle Darnell Wright, cornerback Tyrique Stevenson and defensive tackle Zacch Pickens—had worked with the team's coaches at the Senior Bowl.
"Being here you get a firsthand chance to see how a guy communicates," Joseph said via telephone from Mobile. "You can see his personality, how he is in a meeting, how he can translate that to the field, how he practices. I think it's huge that you can bring that information back to the organization."