Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains has been here before. But never quite like this.
Matt Barkley for Brian Hoyer is a challenge.
Mitch Trubisky for Mike Glennon is the opportunity of a lifetime.
“You show me a great coach, and I’ll show you a good player,” coach John Fox said.
Loggains is too humble to make this about him. And he’s too smart to give even a hint about his ambition. But as bad as he feels for Glennon, in his heart of hearts, he has to be aware that this is his chance to make his mark in the NFL. He’s earnest and sharp and gets rave reviews from everybody he works with. But — to put it in Fox’s terms — he has no skins on the wall in the NFL.
This is his best chance to get some. There’s no telling what Trubisky will become as an NFL quarterback. But from the brief glimpses we’ve seen, he fits the mold of a franchise quarterback — the arm strength, the accuracy, the confidence and the discipline. Trubisky is just about everything a coordinator could ask for in a prospect. He anticipates pressure, has the footwork to avoid sacks and the mobility to extend plays and throws accurately on the run.
That doesn’t mean he’ll be Aaron Rodgers, or even like Aaron Rodgers. You need a good supporting cast, a little gumption and a lot of luck to put it all together. But he gives Loggains more to work with than he has ever had. What an opportunity, right?
“It’s bittersweet in some ways because I feel for Mike Glennon,” Loggains said. “Not being able to help him more and let him have more success because he’s a pro. He did everything the right way. The way he’s taken this has been incredible. It speaks so much to his character — just the way he has helped Mitch.’’
Duly noted. But it’s time to turn to the future, and reality.
“I’m a huge Mitch Trubisky fan; I believe in him,” Loggains said. “I think he’s going to be a special player. I just want to do my part and help him and help the other guys — get [them] to play well around him. Because I do think he’s capable of playing at a high level.”
Maybe this experience will expose flaws in Trubisky we have yet to see — you just never know with quarterbacks. But until then, Trubisky is at the top of the list of quarterbacks Loggains has worked with as an offensive coordinator in the NFL, and that includes some good prospects who fizzled and capable veterans with flaws already exposed: Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick with the Titans; Jay Cutler, Hoyer, Barkley and Glennon with the Bears.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to get Mitch on the field,” Loggains said. “He’s as close to ready as any rookie I’ve ever been around.”
Trubisky gives Loggains a better chance to do what he does best. It’s a lot easier to zig when the defense zags when you don’t have a sitting duck back there, waiting for every other player to do his job perfectly to succeed.
“Mitch Trubisky is a very good young player, but he is not a magic wand,” Loggains said. “We need to play better around him. That starts with me and goes to every position group. . . . The way you get good quarterback play is to get the 10 guys around him to do their jobs.”
And sometimes, the way you get those 10 guys to do their jobs is by having a quarterback whose presence commands that. That’s how you turn an offensive coordinator into a genius.
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