Gase was the hot commodity on the coaching circuit this offseason, receiving interviews with the Eagles and Browns before choosing the Dolphins. Gase received heavy interest for not only his work in Denver with Peyton Manning, but for guiding Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to one of his best seasons as a pro, something many Bears coordinators have tried but have failed at in recent seasons.
The Dolphins are hoping Gase can do the same kind of wonders with quarterback Ryan Tannehill as he did with Cutler.
Many have suspected and feared since before the season even began that Gase would be a one-hit wonder with the Bears because he nearly landed the San Francisco 49ers head coaching gig a year ago. And given how well Cutler played this season — taking better care of the football and keeping the Bears in most games this season — the concern is now who will the Bears hire to replace Gase at offensive coordinator, and can that man continue to do good work with Cutler?
The first logical choice is quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, who has intimately worked with both Gase and Cutler this season. He would seemingly be able to bridge the gap without missing much of a beat. Both Cutler and head coach John Fox think highly of Loggains.
If the Bears choose to go outside the organization, one name to keep in mind is former Tennessee Titans and Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who led the Cardinals to a 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Prior to that, Whisenhunt was offensive coordinator for the Steelers in their Super Bowl XL championship over the Seahawks during the 2005 season.
Whatever the Bears choose to do, Fox is not concerned about there being a major disturbance in the continuity of the offense.
“Let me make this clear, our systems are our systems,” Fox said at the season-ending press conference when asked if losing Gase would require the Bears to install a new offensive scheme. “They’re not any individual’s systems, they are our systems. Our systems aren’t changing, offense, defense or special teams.”
Whom the Bears hire at offensive coordinator to replace Gase will be the first hot topic on the agenda, before the drama of free agency and the draft even come around.
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