Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins take this first step toward trying to upgrade for 2018

Clyde Christensen has been the Dolphins offensive coordinator two seasons but his future with the team is uncertain.
Clyde Christensen has been the Dolphins offensive coordinator two seasons but his future with the team is uncertain. adiaz@miamiherald.com

It has begun. The changes the Miami Dolphins are expected to undergo this offseason following a disappointing 6-10 record in 2017 are already in the works.

The club on Tuesday brought former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains to its team facility with the idea of seeing if he’s a fit to upgrade the offensive coaching staff.

Loggains spent the day with head coach Adam Gase and the two discussed Loggains taking on a significant workload in preparing the offense week to week. That work must include raising the Dolphins offense from its doldrums of the past seasons. The Dolphins averaged 17.6 points per game and finished 28th in points scored last season.

The interview, which sources say went well, did not result in a hiring on Tuesday but it is clear Loggains is a favorite to be hired.

And that raises uncertainty about the future of current offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen. Christensen, 62 later this month, expected to return to the Dolphins next season but that is now up in the air.

It is clear, however, that Gase intends to continue calling the plays in 2018 as he has his first two years with the Dolphins and for many years as an NFL offensive coordinator.

The addition of Loggains -- or whoever Gase eventually hires -- is in part meant to help the Dolphins fill a void that was lost when former offensive line coach Chris Foerster was fired after a cocaine sniffing video of him surfaced in October. Foerster handled the offensive line but his duties also included setting up the running game and other things.

It is not known how the Dolphins expect to address their apparent offensive line assistant coach vacancy.

Loggains, 37, would come to the Dolphins with a reputation for running a balanced offense -- an issue the Dolphins had trouble with last season when they went into the final week having the most disproportionate pass to run ration of any NFL team.

Loggains has coached a 1,000-yard rusher in all three seasons he’s been an offensive coordinator.

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase talks about the Fins' bizarre season and Jarvis Landry's ejection after their final game of the season, a loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Jordan Howard finished second in rushing (1,313 yards) and set a Bears rookie rushing record in 2016.

The Dolphins obviously struggled last season because Gase and company had to scramble for a starting quarterback after Ryan Tannehill sustained his second ACL injury in nine months last August. That type of crisis is no stranger to Loggains.

The 2016 Bears finished third in franchise history in passing yards (3,969) despite starting three different quarterbacks at least five games each.

Gase and Loggains have a comfort level and that’s going to be difficult for any other candidate Gase might have in mind to match. That’s probably the reason Loggains is the first to be contacted about the job and perhaps the last.

In 2015, Loggains worked as quarterbacks coach under Gase’s offense in Chicago.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says he's disappointed with the season after the Fins' loss to the Buffalo Bills. (Video contains graphic language)

As Tennessee’s offensive coordinator in 2013, Loggains had a 1,000-yard rushing and receiving tandem in Chris Johnson and Kendall Wright.

Obviously the Dolphins recognize that a lot of upgrades need to be made to avoid another season like the one that just mercifully ended. Most of those changes will come to the roster.

But it should not surprise that the first of those changes is coming to a coaching staff that needs improvement. The team believes Loggains would help upgrade that staff.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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