The Chicago Bears announced today that they have fired both offensive line coach Dave Magazu and secondary coach Sam Garnes. Earlier this week they fired running backs coach Stan Drayton. After the Bears worst season since the NFL went to a 16-game season, it was expected that some coaches would get the ax. It just wasn’t the coaches that I expected.
I take that back, I fully expected secondary coach Sam Garnes to get fired. It makes sense after the Bears managed a franchise-low eight interceptions this season. Garnes getting canned isn’t a surprise at all. Offensive line coach Dave Magazu and running backs coach Stan Drayton being let go aren’t as easy to explain.
The Bears had an awful season overall and in almost every aspect of the game. The secondary was really bad and Garnes got fired for it. That was far from the only position group that struggled this year though.
HC John Fox has mentioned multiple times in the last two years that this is a “performance-based business”. If that was true then why did coaches whose units “performed” get fired, while some coaches still have their jobs despite their position groups struggling most of the year?
Running back Jordan Howard, a 5th round pick, finished 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards, but the running backs coach gets let go? How many yards did Howard need to get for Drayton to keep his job?
That aren’t many stats available to evaluate offensive lines, but the Bears were 7th in the league in sacks allowed, 9th in QB hits allowed, and deserve some credit for Jordan Howard’s record-breaking season. Football Outsiders ranked the Bears 7th in run blocking and 8th in pass protection. That’s higher than the Bears have finished in either category in a very long time.
Both the running backs and offensive line exceed expectations, but those are the two position coaches the Bears decide to get rid of? What about the special teams who were terrible all year? Or the quarterbacks coach who oversaw a significant regression from Jay Cutler? Or the wide receivers who were massive disappointments this year (except for Cam Meredith)? Those coaches keep their jobs while the guys overseeing the Bears two best offensive units get canned?
I’m sure there are plenty of things that go into coaching a position group besides on-field results, but what about the guy who oversaw the entire offense, Dowell Loggains? The Bears offense finished 28th in the league in points scored. That’s bottom five in the league, but Loggains keeps his job?
I’ve written all year about Loggains incompetent play-calling and aversion to the running game. I could list a page full of examples of his head-scratching play calls, but anyone who watched the Bears this year surely can think of a few off the top of their heads.
Why get rid of two coaches whose position groups exceeded expectations and keep an offensive coordinator who failed at his job consistently this season? It makes no sense to me.