New Miami Dolphins OC Dowell Loggains: ‘We’ve got to do a better job’ with young talent

Dolphins receiver Jakeem Grant breaks a tackle by inside linebacker Reggie Ragland of the Chiefs en route to a 65-yard touchdown in December. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It didn’t take Dowell Loggains long to learn one basic truth about the Dolphins’ offense.

“We have a talented group of young players that we’ve got to do a better job with next year than we did last year,” said Loggains, who is only a few weeks into his role as offensive coordinator of the Dolphins.

Loggains arrives from Chicago, where he served for two seasons in the same capacity. Because he had succeeded Adam Gase as the Bears’ offensive coordinator, Loggains kept tabs on the Dolphins when Gase first came to Miami, although he admitted he’s having to “get caught up” on the offense’s performance from 2017.

The more he studies, the more he’ll see there’s work to be done following a season in which the team finished 25th in total offense and 28th in scoring. But already, he senses there’s a nucleus to work with at receiver, especially if the Dolphins can keep the group intact. Much revolves around Jarvis Landry’s impending free agency, the hope being Loggains can work with Landry (league-high 112 catches, 987 yards), Kenny Stills (847 yards), DeVante Parker (670 yards in another injury-plagued season) and Jakeem Grant (203 yards as he continues development).

“I’m really excited to sit down and talk to (assistant head coach Shawn) Jefferson and (receivers coach) Ben Johnson about those guys each individually,” Loggains said. “When you watch the tape, you see splash plays on splash plays. It could be a really good group.”

Collective-bargaining rules limit the type of contact coaches can have with players in the offseason, so Loggains said he and the other coaches will be “figuring out where we failed and where we need to get better going forward.”

The Lions and Steelers led the NFL with 16 passes of 40-plus yards. The Dolphins were tied for 25th with just five, but there was the late-season emergence of Grant, who finally was able to display his sprinter’s speed on offense with a 65-yard touchdown catch against the Chiefs.

The deep ball would give running back Kenyan Drake breathing room. Toward that end, the Dolphins know what they have in Stills, who has scored 15 touchdowns the past two years.

If Loggains can solve the Parker riddle, he’ll become the first to do so. Parker, the former first-rounder, was limited to 12 starts in 2017, which doubled his total of his first two seasons. In 42 games played, he has managed three 100-yard games, a total that most agree is not indicative of his athletic ability.

“We’re just got to keep coaching these guys hard to get them to where we want to go next year,” Loggains said.

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FINAL REPORT CARD FOR 2017 MIAMI DOLPHINS

[GRADING THE QBs: Barely a passing grade is all they deserved]

[GRADING THE RBs: Kenyan Drake’s explosiveness offers hope for ’18]

[GRADING THE OL: Without upgrade next season, team isn’t going anywhere]

[GRADING THE RECEIVERS: The top two are obvious … but then what?]

[GRADING THE DL: Lots of dollars, so why not lots of sacks?]

[GRADING THE LBs: All downhill once opponents discovered blueprint]

[GRADING THE DBs: Veteran safeties, youthful corners form good nucleus for ’18]

[GRADING THE SPECIAL TEAMS: Parkey, Haack have moments, but unit has ups and downs]

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