Bears coach John Fox said in his season-ending remarks last Monday that the team’s systems are in place and not dependent solely on coordinator Adam Gase as far as the offense is concerned. Fox was saying without saying it directly that not only the systems, but also the key coaching personnel were in place.
In a move that marks a clear statement of direction for the offense and makes a statement that continuity as well as talent will matter, the Bears promoted quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to offensive coordinator to replace Gase, who took the job of head coach for the Miami Dolphins late last week.
“Dowell played a critical role on our offense last year,” said coach John Fox in a statement. “He’s an excellent coach with experience as a play-caller and a broad knowledge of offensive football. He has earned the respect of our players because they know he can help them get better.
The Bears last season took a first step toward developing true continuity in their offense when the Fox coaching staff, including Loggains, took the quarterback abilities of Jay Cutler to another and sustainable level.
The next step came Monday when Loggains succeeded Gase.
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“As I mentioned at the end of the season, our systems are in place,” Fox said. “We will always look to evolve because the NFL is fluid and adapting is key to good coaching. Dowell will help us build on what we started as we head into the 2016 season.”
What the Bears under Fox started was a solid, consistent philosophy built on his mantra of running the football. Loggains was working with Gase and Cutler as the architects of game plans consistent with that philosophy, regardless of what personnel were available for the passing offense. The Bears under Gase ran the ball consistently (45.7 percent running even in games with a healthy Alshon Jeffery, for example) with or without their top receivers, and Loggains can be expected to continue in that direction.
The Bears typically ran at least 25 times per game and never threw more than 45 passes (once, at Kansas City) in a game. Loggains has maintained a simple grasp on that factor in the overall priority of ball security.
“The unfortunate thing is that if you throw the ball enough, if you’re calling 44-45 passes in a game, you are going to throw interceptions,” Loggains said during last season. “Nobody in the history of the game has gone without one.”
With Loggains as Bears quarterbacks coach, Cutler reached a career-high 92.3 passer rating, with 64.4 completion percentage (311-of-483), 2.3 interception percentage and 7.58 passing yards per attempt all second-bests in his NFL career. His 11 interceptions were the fewest in a season in which he appeared in at least 15 games.
“I think Adam and Dowell and all the coaches have been selective in our gameplans,” Cutler observed late last season, “and then on game day as far as me going through my reads and not trying to do too much and force the ball to guys and just letting them naturally make plays because we have some playmakers even if we’ve lost some of our other playmakers.”
Loggains has eight years NFL coaching experience including two seasons as offensive coordinator and five as a quarterbacks coach.
In 2014, Loggains was the quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns. The Browns finished the 2014 season with 3,678 passing yards, 11th-most in franchise history. Their 7.33 yards per attempt in 2014 was the highest for the franchise since 1992. Their 21 pass plays of 25 or more yards were tied for the second most by the franchise in the last 21 years and the most since 1995.
From 2008-13, Loggains was on the coaching staff of the Tennessee Titans, including serving as offensive coordinator in 2013 and during the final five games of the 2012 season. In 2013, the Titans were off to a 3-1 start as starting quarterback Jake Locker had a 99.0 passer rating, before injuries derailed his season. Locker finished with an 86.7 passer rating in seven starts (4-3 record).
From 2010-12, Loggains was the quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator of the Titans, working with Kerry Collins, Vince Young, Matt Hasselbeck and Locker. The Titans’ 4,113 passing yards and 84.4 passer rating in 2011 are sixth and seventh-highest in franchise single-season history, respectively. In 2010 he helped Collins post the third-best passer rating of his career (82.2) and Vince Young register the highest passer rating of his career (98.6).
Loggains joined the Titans in 2006, working as a coaching administrative assistant for two seasons before being named a quality control coach in 2008, a role he held for two years. Prior to his time in Tennessee, Loggains spent the 2005 season as a scouting assistant with the Dallas Cowboys. His duties included assisting with opponent film breakdown, self-scouting and statistical analysis to be used in game-plan preparation.
Loggains has worked with several successful NFL coordinators during his time in the NFL, including Gase, Sean Payton, Norm Chow, Mike Heimerdinger and Chris Palmer.
The Newport, Ark. native was a four-year letterman as a quarterback and holder at the University of Arkansas, where he appeared in 50 games. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science and master’s degree in education. He was a two-year starter at quarterback for Abilene Cooper (Texas) High School.