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Based on a report from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport on Tuesday, the path is now clear for the Jets to hire Dowell Loggains as their new offensive coordinator. With the coaching staff starting to take shape, we can consider what to expect from the offensive coaches in 2019 and beyond.
The 38-year old Loggains has over a decade of experience coaching at the NFL level, including four years as a quarterbacks coach and five as an offensive coordinator. In 2015, Loggains was hired as a quarterbacks coach by then-Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase. However, at the end of that year, Gase was hired as Miami’s head coach and Loggains was promoted into Gase’s old job. Two years later, Gase brought Loggains to Miami to again work under him, this time as offensive coordinator.
There are a couple of red flags in Loggains’ history, as he was apparently an advocate of drafting Johnny Manziel while with the Browns, and was voted as the worst playcaller in the NFL while in Chicago. However, the Jets have already indicated that Gase will introduce his own system and is going to be responsible for the play calling.
So Loggains’ role will be the same as the one he had with the Dolphins. On his arrival in Miami last year, Loggains described himself as a deputy who would help Gase through the process of getting to game day by cleaning things up from Monday to Saturday.
Although they have only worked together for two years on the same staff, Gase obviously trusts Loggains to run his system and prepare his players for gameday. This arrangement must have worked out to Gase’s liking last year, and the two clearly share common offensive philosophies.
Ultimately, Gase is his own offensive coordinator and bringing in a trusted lieutenant underpins that assumption. Had the Jets brought in a more established name, then it would be worth considering what ideas that coach could bring to the table to put his stamp on the offense. But with Loggains coming in, we can get a sense of what to expect from Miami’s 2018 offense.
Firstly, they didn’t have a quarterbacks coach and the Jets aren’t expected to either. We can expect Loggains and occasionally Gase to undertake many of the duties that a quarterbacks coach might ordinarily handle. The Jets didn’t have a quarterbacks coach in 2018, so this shouldn’t disrupt Sam Darnold too much. It’s unclear yet whether Josh McCown could return in a mentoring-backup role.
Some view Gase as someone that stubbornly sticks to gameplans that aren’t working, but he will adjust his gameplans to optimize his players’ performance. One comment Gase made at his introductory presser was that the Dolphins had “sacrificed statistics to get wins.”
Absent context, this sounded like an excuse for his offense’s poor ranking. However, he went on to elaborate that the team had lost several key players to injury, and therefore, decided to make ball security a premium.
Ultimately, they had decided to play conservatively, but that adjustment enabled them to stay in some close games, in which they had an excellent record. Gase’s Dolphins went 20-6 in one-score games, while Todd Bowles’ Jets only went 13-21. Since situational coaching was probably the one area where everyone seemed to agree that Bowles was lacking, that hopefully bodes well for Gase’s abilities in the same scenarios.
As for what we can specifically expect from Gase’s offense, a review of the available footage shows that he uses plenty of read-option type plays, and looks to set up play-action opportunities down the field. The running game uses both inside and outside zone looks with some wrinkles that can create iso-blocking situations or cutback opportunities. Hiring Frank Pollack – an offensive line coach that favors zone blocking schemes – reinforces that expectation.
Personnel-wise, a major feature of Gase’s offense was that they threw a ton of receiver screens to Jarvis Landry and then, when Landry left, to Albert Wilson. This is something Quincy Enunwa can be adept at, although he was reportedly frustrated with being pigeonholed into that role last year.
Gase’s offenses will also throw downfield plenty too, with DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills having been primary targets. However, as noted, they might play more conservatively and with less tempo if personnel issues dictate it.
In some respects, the Loggains hire could be equivalent to when Bowles brought Kacy Rodgers in as his right-hand man. However, defensive line coach was the highest position Rodgers had held to that point.
The difference here is Loggains actually has some experience of being a coordinator, so that hopefully won’t be out of his depth, especially since his role will mainly be one of implementation and facilitation.