Not the Best Question I Ever Asked

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune responds to a question from this ignorant fan:

“I’ve been hesitant to get behind Dowell Loggains because he was Johnny Manziel’s quarterbacks coach during a miserable season last year. I recognize that by far the biggest reasons for Manziel’s poor performance had to do with Manziel’s actions not those of Loggains. Nevertheless, I have to believe that he was fired for a reason. Can you ease my concerns? — Tom S., Chicago

“I don’t think I would evaluate the work of any NFL coach or assistant based on their time spent with Manziel. If half the reports about his off-field exploits and problems are true, he’s not a young professional fully committed to his job as a football player. The Browns fired Loggains at the end of 2014 after one season and that move came at about the same time offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan asked Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam to be released from his contract. I certainly wouldn’t judge the Browns offensive coaches from this past season based on another dismal performance by Manziel. Plenty of coaches get fired. In fact, it happens to almost all of them at some point. As colorful former Oilers and Saints coach Bum Phillips famously once said, ‘There’s two kinds of coaches, them that’s fired and them that’s gonna be fired.’ Loggains happened to be fired in Cleveland. The Bears once, not too long ago, ran off defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. I’m not comparing Loggains to Rivera. I’m pointing out coaches get let go regularly. And I sure as heck wouldn’t put a stain on Loggains’ resume because of what did or didn’t happen with Manziel.”

This was a kinder response than this question deserved. My suggestion that Loggains be judged from one year of work wasn’t the best considered opinion I’ve ever expressed. Furthermore, I’d totally forgotten that Shanahan had left and it makes compete sense that Loggains might have been Shanahan’s guy. The new offensive coordinator might very well have wanted his own quarterbacks coach.

Having said that, I’m still concerned about Loggains record. From the outside looking in, it seems to me like Loggains talks a good, smart game. I’m sure he’s very knowledgable. But when its all said and sifted there’s no historical evidence whatsoever that he can get players to actually perform. No quarterbacks that he ever coached before coming to the Bears ever performed above their talent level. No offense he’s ever coordinator ever demonstrably performed better as a team than the sum of its parts. In fact quarterback Brian Hoyer got demonstrably better with the Texans than in 2014 than he was with the Browns. I hate to say it but what I know of Loggains reminds me a great deal of John Shoop.

With more experienced candidates with a history of success available such as Ken Whisenhunt and Pat Shurmur, Loggains is a risk. I’m not saying he won’t work out. But I think there’s a good basis for my concern.

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