John Fox and Dowell Loggains are arguably the two most important coaches who have a hand in developing quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
Each week, both coaches find themselves fighting to strike a balance between optimal player development and winning football games. However, it’s apparent that each coach sees things differently.
When asked about the challenge of winning while trying to develop Trubisky at the same time, Loggains (in his second year as the team’s offensive coordinator) stressed his goal was to win that week’s game, but admitted big picture scenarios are always on his mind.
“Everything we’re trying to do is win one game at a time, but there is a big picture thought process from myself and the offensive staff,” Loggains explained during his Wednesday meeting with the media at Halas Hall, which you can view in its full-blown glory here. “We understand this kid needs to develop. There are some situations he needs to go through, fail at, and learn from.”
“This kid” Loggains refers to is his rookie quarterback. And the situations he needs to “go through, fail at, and learn from” haven’t been all that available to him. And we’ll get to that in a moment.
But first, let’s compare what Loggains said when asked about developing Trubisky to what Fox said in his meeting with the media on Monday when asked if he would look to play young players more over established veterans.
“We have a lot of young players playing already,” Fox said.
That’s it. Full stop.
The divergent paths of the team’s offensive coordinator and head coach were on display in Week 13.
Take for example the late-game situation when Fox declined to let the 49ers score a touchdown that would have given the Bears the ball with a chance at a game-winning touchdown drive. Whether Fox intended to do so or not, his strategy to hope for a blocked kick also kept Trubisky from entering a two-minute drill situation with the game on the line. On Wednesday, Loggains opened up and explained how valuable getting game reps in the two-minute drill can be in the development process.
“As an offensive staff, we think about how valuable every two-minute (drill) no matter what,” Loggains said when asked about developing Trubisky, adding the situation of the game can dictate how important it can be to get the rookie chances “here or there.”
Winning is everything to a coaching staff that has won six games since the start of the 2016 season, but at least Loggains is willing to admit there are other factors that need to be accounted for each week. Developing Trubisky should be the top priority over the next four games, so it’s nice to hear one coach say as much.