Bears

Gase: Dowell Loggains as Bears' OC 'a great situation' for Jay Cutler

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Gase: Dowell Loggains as Bears' OC 'a great situation' for Jay Cutler

INDIANAPOLIS – No Bears personnel move this offseason projects to be have greater, wider-reaching impact on not only 2016 but also the future of the franchise than the Bears’ elevation of quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to offensive coordinator.

Quarterback Jay Cutler had the best individual season of his career along the axis of Loggains and former coordinator Adam Gase, in large part because of the personal dynamic between Cutler and a staff that had his respect from the outset.

But Gase, who arrived with the stamp of credibility from an association with Peyton Manning in Denver, left to coach the Miami Dolphins. Loggains’ NFL coaching experience consisted of time with the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns, player-starved franchises that ranked among the bottom-feeders during Loggains’ time with them.

Cutler relationships with previous coordinators – Ron Turner, Mike Martz, Mike Martz, Aaron Kromer – were marked with acrimony that predictably ended badly. That is not the expectation now, however.

“It's a great dynamic, I know that,” Gase said on Wednesday during the NFL Scouting Combine. “I always loved going around those two guys and kind of seeing the banter between them. When they hit the field, there's something special there between those two guys and the way they work together and the way they communicate.

“It'll be a great situation for Jay. That offense is in great hands, I mean, that whole coaching staff is top notch. I enjoyed working with all those guys, but those two guys together, they'll be able to keep that system going. They'll be able to keep that continuity going.”

[MORE: Bears could use virtual reality to coach Jay Cutler, others]

Gase is in a position to know. Indeed, the experience of coach John Fox in elevating an incumbent quarterbacks coach to O-coordinator was a major element in the thinking behind promoting Loggains.

Fox and the Bears did consider potential coordinators outside the organization. But Fox in Denver had promoted Gase from QB coach to coordinator after Mike McCoy was hired to coach the San Diego Chargers and saw how that transition had worked, albeit with Manning as an obviously significant constant.

“We had a similar situation with Mike McCoy in Denver, when he went to San Diego,” Fox said. “Adam had been the quarterbacks coach the last couple years. We kind of injected some philosophies offensively, much like this time.

“Outside [the Bears’ organization] there were some very capable people, but that last experience I think helped in making this experience in the fact that Adam had a great relationship with Peyton and we didn’t want to change the whole offense, because that does set you back. I think that relationship helped us have the success that we did, and we did have success.”

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

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USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

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USA Today

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams. 

Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs? 

The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD. 

Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week? 

You can take a look here and see where they landed.