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Dowell Loggains? Seriously?
I'm not completely against the hire but I sure don't love the process (apparently interviewing no one from outside the Bears' current staff), or the priority (kowtowing to the quarterback).
All it took was one season in which the Bears' signal-caller wasn't the biggest problem - and Jay Cutler was still a problem, just not the biggest - and now the quarterbacks coach is the automatic next offensive coordinator? Everyone remembers that the Bears finished 6-10 right? And they did so against an easier schedule than faced by any of the other 6-10 teams, so they draft 11th in the first round instead of 8th?
And now Loggains must be promoted to replace Adam Gase because he would work best with you know who?
The Bears brass did this before, just a few years ago. In fact, they took it a step further. They hired a head coach (Marc Trestman) they thought would work best with Cutler. Then they brought in an offensive line coach/offensive coordinator (Aaron Kromer) who would do the same. And then they totally embarrassed themselves as Cutler displayed his worst qualities in game after game after game.
Cutler improved in 2015, but he was still good for the critical turnover at just the wrong time. In other words, he was just good enough to lose game after game after game.
Yes, he has matured. Slightly. But he is still a little bit of adversity away from turning back into the same petulant malcontent who reacts to receivers running wrong routes by throwing the ball where they were supposed to be. Yes, he is physically tough, but he has still not proven to be mentally tough. And he won't prove it until he comes through to lead the Bears to a win in a game that actually matters.
Yes, he didn't choke away the game at Lambeau (in a "signature win" that turned out to mean absolutely nothing) this year, but anyone who says he was the main reason the Bears won that contest must have just completed a Bears Kool-Aid bender.
Otherwise, it has been years since Cutler turned in anything more than a slightly above average performance in a game of real consequence.
The 2015 Bears were built to operate with a conservative offensive scheme and a defense that at least wouldn't embarrass the NFL's founding franchise the way it did in 2014. In order to take the next step next season, the Bears will need to improve the defense. They will need to really improve their special teams. And they will need to upgrade their passing offense.
That will especially hold true if they do what I think they will in terms of offensive playmakers. My guess is they will decline to re-sign Matt Forte but will do what they have to do to make sure Alshon Jeffery returns. It doesn't follow that they skew their salary structure toward receivers in such a fashion (they'll also probably spend a decent amount of money to hire a good, free-agent, pass-catching tight end), the actual offense won't follow suit.
Meanwhile in the NFC Central, the Packers won another playoff game Sunday, the Vikings should have won and the Lions were one of the hottest teams in the league in the second half of the season.
Do you really trust Jay Cutler to lead the Bears back to prominence over those teams? Of course you don't. And the Bears' priority in hiring a new offensive coordinator should not have been hiring the guy who is best at potentially propping up the now 32-year-old quarterback.
The priority should have been hiring the best possible offensive mind. I would have loved to have seen them at least interview Ken Whisenhunt, who may have washed out of two NFL head coaching jobs but was a good enough offensive coordinator at various stops to have earned those two shots at head coaching.
On the plus side, Loggains has a better resume than I initially realized. He was the coordinator of a decent Tennessee Titans offense in 2013 (the team went 7-9 with Jake Locker at the helm; Locker was so bad in his brief NFL career that he retired in early 2015 after only four seasons as a pro).
Plus, you don't often see an NFL coordinator hired because "he handles the short jokes really well," as coach John Fox memorably noted earlier this week. If the Bears flop next season, that ability will almost certainly be put to the ultimate test.
Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays, except when he's our man on Tuesdays. He welcomes your comments.
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