Emma: Bears' Cutler, Loggains Are Two Of A Kind
By Chris Emma--
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) -- Take in the scene along the sidelines of Bears practice and it's ever so clear why quarterback Jay Cutler wanted Dowell Loggains as his new offensive coordinator.
Cutler's fiery demeanor is matched by Loggains, who's animated with each play. Loggains is clear and concise in his directions of the play and personnel, but their interactions run beyond that, too.
"There's definitely some honesty there," Cutler said of Loggains. "He's not afraid to tell me when I'm completely wrong, and rightfully so. I tell him whenever we're not doing something right or we need to change things."
Communication is the key between Cutler and Loggains, and it became one of the most important factors in the Bears' decision to promote Loggains as the replacement to Adam Gase. The Bears brought in Loggains knowing well that Gase would likely be moving on to become a head coach after one season in Chicago. In turn, Loggains was the obvious choice.
It was Cutler's say in the matter that brought Loggains over as quarterbacks coach, then Cutler's influence that guided the promotion. Cutler got his wish.
"Most of the time when you have turnover like that, it's going to be learning a whole new language -- you're back at square one," Cutler said. "With Dowell, we didn't want to do that, the coaches didn't want to do that, we didn't want to do that to the players, and I certainly didn't want to do that."
Past relationships with offensive coordinators were poor for Cutler, with Ron Turner, Mike Martz, Mike Tice and Aaron Kromer not relating well to him. With Loggains, the communication is effective. The 33-year-old Cutler and 35-year-old Loggains can crack jokes together -- they do quite often -- and share brutal honesty.
That's how a good working relationship should function.
"It's a mutual respect," Loggains said. "I respect him, and he respects me. When you have that mutual respect, all dialogue is legal. Whatever I say to him, he knows where it's coming from and vice versa."
During their first year together, Loggains helped Cutler along to his most efficient season in Chicago. Cutler threw for 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions, his fewest in a Bears uniform, while posting a 92.3 quarterback rating.
While Cutler didn't have a healthy complement of receivers at his disposal, he still managed to protect the football and keep the Bears in games. Cutler came through in the clutch on several occasions, too.
Praise was often tossed toward the feet of Gase, and Cutler was quick to acknowledge how Loggains had helped him as well. Loggains deflected that credit back to Cutler.
"I'm looking forward to coaching him every day and continuing the progress we made, building off that where we ended last year," Loggains said. "But we definitely can be better."
Now come the questions wondering how good Cutler can be this season. Some of those past struggles were likely a byproduct of not being on the same page as his offensive coordinators, and the evidence in one season with a bright play-caller in Gase offered promise. Gase had Cutler putting the Bears in a position to win.
Cutler can hope for a healthy Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Eddie Royal this season. Having Loggains leading the offense provides continuity, starting with the same base principles to the schemes.
"The shell of the offense will stay the same," Loggains said. "The language will be the same. But it will evolve like it would've if Adam would've been here."
Now in charge of the offense, Loggains will look to build upon Gase's first season, one in which Cutler worked well. Adding to that, the Bears have playmakers at receiver and a defense that should be much improved.
Cutler got his wish in Loggains' promotion, and he has personnel in place to succeed. He's driven to bring the Bears wins in 2016, the final year of guaranteed money on his seven-year contract.
Fortunately, Cutler has Loggains to lean on, somebody who's just as driven.
"We need to turn this offense over," Cutler said. "We have the same terminology, the same stuff. We have to improve in the direction that we want to go."
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago's sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.
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