Chicago did just that Monday and promoted last year's quarterbacks coach, Dowell Loggains, to offensive coordinator, per the team's Twitter account.
Loggains was the quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns in 2014 before joining the Bears and was also on staff for the Tennessee Titans from 2006 to 2013. He was a quarterbacks coach with Tennessee from 2010-12 and was promoted to offensive coordinator for the last five games of the 2012 season and the entirety of the 2013 campaign.
Adam Hoge of WGN Radio passed along head coach John Fox’s comments on the decision to elevate Loggains within the Bears organization:
John Fox on promoting Dowell Loggains to offensive coordinator: pic.twitter.com/zRPzeZSXBL— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) January 11, 2016
Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times noted this isn’t the first time Fox acted quickly to replace an offensive coordinator: “In 2013 with Denver, John Fox promoted Adam Gase after two days of consideration. He just did the same with Bears and Dowell Loggains now.”
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune speculated that the pattern of promoting from within would continue in the Windy City this offseason: “Worth wondering if Bears will make former college QB Mike Groh the QB coach now. He's been WR coach for last [two] seasons.”
Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune said quarterback Jay Cutler “has endorsed Loggains,” which is critical since the signal-caller will be working with his sixth different offensive coordinator in eight seasons since joining the Bears.
John Mullin of CSNChicago.com shared a quote from Cutler:
Dowell is good. He started at a young age. He’s still pretty young -- he’s only two or three years older than me, so a lot of football in his short span of coaching career and playing career. Innovative guy, lot of energy, like the rest of our offensive staff, which is good. He’s not afraid to push the group and try to get everyone better.
Mullin added more context to the Cutler angle with this decision and said the “reality is that coach John Fox is not going to tailor any coach hiring to suit one player. Still, Loggains has been an NFL offensive coordinator, called plays in games and would step into the job with an offensive system and philosophy already in place.”
Cutler put up some of the best numbers of his career in 2015 inside of that offensive system that is already in place. The former Vanderbilt star finished with a career-best 92.3 passer rating, and his 64.4 percent completion mark was the second-highest of his career.
What’s more, his 11 interceptions were his second-lowest total since his rookie season in 2006, when he only played five games. Interceptions have always been a criticism when it comes to Cutler’s game, but he was a far cry from the quarterback who threw 26 in 2009 or even the one who threw 18 in 2014.
He kept his turnovers down and tallied 3,659 passing yards and 22 total touchdowns despite the fact the Bears traded wide receiver Brandon Marshall during the offseason and saw No. 1 option Alshon Jeffery only play nine games because of various physical setbacks. Even first-round draft pick Kevin White missed the entire season with an injury.
Chicago finished 6-10, but it was still within striking distance of the postseason at 5-6 behind Cutler’s overall consistency until Robbie Gould missed two critical field goals in the next two contests.
Ideally for the Bears, promoting Loggains and keeping Cutler inside a similar offensive system with more playmakers around him in 2016 will help the team move from a borderline playoff contender to one that is playing in January next year.