I don’t get all the criticism Dowell Loggains gets. Maybe it’s because he is small of stature? Maybe it’s because he is relatively unknown among casual fans. I don’t know what it is. I do know he has done a pretty damn good job with leftovers, passed-overs, and never-beens.
I am not going to throw lots of stats at you–the stats don’t always tell the whole tale. I will point out to you that the Bears are on there 3rd quarterback, and two out of the three have performed at a decent level, taken care of the football, and lead the offense to some long drives which produced points. Yes, even journeyman QB Brian Hoyer looked competent running the Bears offense.
Jay Cutler might not have been at his best, even when the team was it’s healthiest (remember that one week down in Tampa Bay?). Hopefully, the Bears will move on from Jay. This is where it is important to have a coordinator on board that can take almost any player he is given and put them in good situations. Barkley is proof of that.
Play calling: One of the “knocks” I hear, and read about is the play calling. Mainly, the Bears don’t run the ball enough. Despite that perception, Jordan Howard sits at 883 yards in just 9 starts (11 games overall). Howard adds 242 yards receiving and is averaging 11 yards per reception. That’s not too shabby. There is also the revolving door they have had on the offensive line. Cody Whitehair moved from guard to center, Kyle Long is out for the season, and Sitton has been in and out of the lineup.
Player development: While Alshon Jeffery has been suspended, a few different players have stepped up: Already mentioned, Jordan Howard, Josh Bellamy had a nice game after a rough one. Cameron Meredith showed some flashes. Marquess Wilson had a nice game before he suffered a groin injury. Matt Barkley seems like he puts the ball in players hands where they have the ability to make a play rather that catch it and get immediately hit.
Barkley/Loggains will face perhaps their biggest test of the season when the Bears trek up to Detroit for a battle at Ford Field on Sunday. The Lions have a decent pass rush and have been better overall–especially at home. Lions QB Mathew Stafford has been a lot better under the guidance of offensive coordinator James “Jim Bob” Cooter, which could put more pressure on the Bears offense if they get out to an early lead. The Lions are currently 8-4 and are in control of the NFC North division with a 2-game lead over both the Vikings and Packers.
If the Bears decide to make some changes when the season is over, I hope that Fangio and Loggains are retained. That would be highly unlikely if head coach John Fox is let go. In fact, the opposite is more likely. Fox stays and lets go 1-2 of his assistants. To me this would be a great mistake. One that would set the Bears back a couple years. Maybe even more if they bring in a new QB, and ultimately keep losing.