John Fox was quick and decisive with the Broncos in 2013. It took him two days to promote Adam Gase to offensive coordinator after Mike McCoy left to become the Chargers’ coach.
Will he do the same with the Bears?
When the Bears hired Gase as offensive coordinator, it came with the assumption that he could move on sooner rather than later. Sure enough, he became the Dolphins’ coach Saturday.
So the Bears aren’t scrambling to fill his position — Dowell Loggains, anyone? — but here’s more to consider about his potential replacement:
Fox’s experience is a huge benefit, but he is replacing only his third offensive coordinator in 15 years as a coach. Fox also has handled three changes on the defensive side.
Of the previous changes, two were internal promotions, including Gase in 2013. In Fox’s second season with the Panthers, he promoted defensive line coach Mike Trgovac to defensive coordinator after the Jaguars hired Jack Del Rio to be their coach.
Fox’s first change at offensive coordinator occurred in 2007 with the Panthers under different circumstances. Fox fired Dan Henning after five seasons and hired Jeff Davidson, previously the Browns’ assistant head coach/offensive line coach.
Overall, three of the four offensive coordinators that have worked for Fox — Henning, McCoy and Gase — were QB coaches at some point in their careers.
An expected change
It seemingly has been forgotten that Gase landed in the Bears’ laps. The team actually thought Gase was bound for Baltimore before the Ravens surprisingly picked former Bears coach Marc Trestman over him.
Hiring Gase became the right course of action. But Fox did it with the understanding that Gase, a head-coach candidate last year who met the Bears brass before general manager Ryan Pace was hired, could leave after one season.
The better quarterback Jay Cutler played, the more it became apparent that Gase would hit the head-coach circuit again. The Bears were barely past the midway point when the media approached Gase about coaching vacancies.
Fox officially added Loggains to his staff two days after hiring Gase. There’s a good chance that Fox saw Loggains as a potential replacement for Gase from the get-go.
When Fox promoted Gase in 2013, he did it for continuity. The Broncos were the league’s best offense in 2012 under McCoy.
“Adam was an integral part of the success we had offensively and was heavily involved in all aspects of our game plan, both during the week and on game day,” Fox said in a statement at the time. “Maintaining that continuity with our offense was very important in this decision.”
While the Bears’ offense this year was a far cry from the Broncos that season, Fox thought Cutler had a good season. Similar to Gase’s input under McCoy, Fox values Loggains’ contributions under Gase, particularly with Cutler.
When Fox fired Henning, it was because a change of philosophy was sought, according to reports. In regards to Gase’s departure, Fox strongly asserted last week the Bears’ systems would go unchanged.
Past and future
The last thing the Bears want to repeat is what happened under Lovie Smith, who used three offensive coordinators with Cutler — Ron Turner, Mike Martz and Mike Tice.
Fox doesn’t have first-hand knowledge of their issues, but plenty at Halas Hall do. The constant changes led to turmoil with Cutler and other players.
Cutler, by all accounts, is a different person and player now, but having a coordinator who knows how to work with him and values his input won’t be overlooked, especially with Pace saying they are going to build around him.
Loggains not only appears to be a safe choice for Cutler, but one who could remain in place for a while.
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