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New Bears QB coach ready to challenge Jay Cutler

BOURBONNAIS — Bears quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains saw the same thing that offensive coordinator Adam Gase did when evaluating Jay Cutler coming out of Vanderbilt years ago.

“He was just a very talented player,” Loggains said. “It was obvious that he had all the tools to play at this level at a very high level.”

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But Loggains is the fifth position coach in Cutler’s seven Bears seasons with the Bears to be given the task of helping him get there.

“We’re competing against ourselves right now,” Loggains said at Olivet Nazarene University. “Jay Cutler has to max out Jay Cutler. Jimmy Clausen needs to be the best Jimmy Clausen he can be.

“It really is that simple. It sounds boring, but that’s the fact.”

Loggains’ arrival was considered a good sign for Cutler, who had lobbied for him before. Former Bears coach Lovie Smith had tried to hire Loggains in 2012, but the Tennessee Titans wouldn’t let him out of his contract. Instead, the Bears hired Jeremy Bates because of his ties to Cutler.

After Bates and two years with coach Marc Trestman and Matt Cavanaugh, Cutler finally is working with Loggains.

“We’re excited about the progress he’s making,” Loggains said. “But it’s a challenge everyday to continue to improve. You never stay the same.”

The difference with Loggains is that he isn’t afraid to challenge Cutler even though he’s only two years older.

“He’s not afraid to push the group and try to get everyone better,” Cutler said.

“I don’t have expectations,” Loggains said. “We have standards. … The thing we always talk about in the quarterback room is make new mistakes. Don’t make the same one twice.”

That applies to Cutler’s oft-criticized fundamentals, including where he holds the ball.

“He has a very good knowledge for where we want it and the expectation for that,” Loggains said.

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Email: ajahns@suntimes.com