The San Francisco 49ers have hired Steve Logan as their next quarterbacks coach, and Logan recently had a chance to discuss the situation. Logan has been doing radio in North Carolina the last couple years, and earlier this week he talked about his new job on ESPN Radio (h/t Eric Branch for finding it).
Logan talked a bit about how the job came about, but had his most extensive comments about new quarterback Colin Kaepernick. I liked that Logan recognized the need to go in and earn Kap's respect. While Logan has an extensive coaching history, he seems to recognize that he is coming in as an outsider. That hopefully bodes well for them building a mutually beneficial relationship.
Here is a transcript of the first portion of Logan's interview. He spends a sizable amount of the interview previewing the Super Bowl and talking about some of his past jobs. I'd recommend giving the first 10 or 11 minutes a listen if you get a chance.
How job came about:
Well, it has everything to do with the head coach, Jim Tomsula. Jimmy and I worked together for three years, very closely. He was the DC, I was the OC, two years in Berlin, and one year in Dusseldorf ... It was just one of those situations, we coached together, we won a World Bowl championship together. We lost a World Bowl championship together on the last play of the game. The third year we were together, we missed a field goal on the last play of the season that would have put us in a third World Bowl. We had a lot of success together, and it was a relationship that you hope you can craft a relationship in the football world. He ran the defense beautifully, he's great with the kids, and he trusted me to run the offense.
And I tried not to screw that up too much, and we had a lot of success. But it's not as much where I'm going to work, it's who I'm going to work for. And that was really the beginning, the middle and the end of it. And you know, you investigate what kind of roster you're walking into, and this roster, it's built to win. I know they had struggles last year, more on the offensive front than anything. I think they ended up about 25th in the league. And they fell off, and that can happen to Steve Logan, it happens to anybody that's coached. The pieces are there in place to compete, work for a really good guy, somebody I know and am really comfortable with. It took like 47 pieces of a puzzle to fall together to make this functional for me. And that was really the beginning, the middle and the end of it.
On what he's seen from Kap in studying film lately:
Well, talking with Jimmy Tomsula, if I was going to make a list of what do you want to coach, let's draw up a guy you want to coach, those first two boxes you want to check are accuracy and decision-making. He's really good with both of those right now. And they've done a wonderful job, coach Harbaugh and the previous staff. And of course, Geep Chryst, the quarterback coach, has worked with Colin. They've done a great job with developing him. He's got accuracy. The other things I would want in dialing up a quarterback would be mobility. I've never, ever on an NFL film seen, I think it was the second-to-last game of the season this year, and we talked about it on the show, he dropped back on the minus-five yard line. He took a five-step drop and his back foot hit the minus-one yard line. Nobody was open. He took off and ran straight down the middle of the football field. He never made a move. He ran straight down the middle of the football field and ran 99 yards untouched for a touchdown ... in the National Football League.
If there's 32 starting running backs in the NFL, there's maybe one or two of them that could have pulled that off. I mean you just don't do that. So he's mobile. He's got incredible top-end speed. That's one of the things when I was evaluating running backs, it's one of the boxes that you check: Does he have top-end speed? 99 percent of the time, you say, no he doesn't. OK? And if he does have top-end speed, he's not good in short-area quickness. He doesn't move well. He's just a straight-line guy. But, anyway, this guy's got special, special abilities.
He's displayed championship character. And, by the way, you know, you do a little research, this kid was a 4.0 student. So there's one more box to check. Is he smart? Yeah. We all want to be around smart people. So, anyway, he's a package guy, and when you are given a responsibility, and I've said this a million times and I say it kiddingly, but I am deadly serious. When I stand before my maker and he says "What did you do with the young men that I gave you to work with?" I'm going to look my creator in the eye and say "I didn't screw them up." There's an old saying that says when you are put in a position of responsibility, your No. 1 job is to do no harm. OK, well let's start there. This kid has a great base around him. There's talent on the team, so let's do no harm. And then the first order of business is to go in and win his respect. Prove to him that I can help him in some other areas. And, hopefully, history suggests I'll get that done.
On working as assistant and not OC:
If I were scripting something that I would be walking into, what I'm really excited about, Geep Chryst was the QB coach, and every indication is he's going to be the offensive coordinator, and I don't know him, but I know Jim Tomsula. Jimmy's told me, "this is a super, top-flight guy". What I'm excited about, and I mean this sincerely, one more box to check, you don't want to walk in and have to re-invent a language, a playbook, the calls. So we got a chance to start up the Corvette, take it down to the car wash, and let this thing go, instead of, you know what I'm saying, when we gathered up at Tampa Bay, or when I gathered at Boston College or anywhere else I've been where it was a brand new undertaking, totally brand new, it is exhausting to sit in those meetings and build a language and a playbook. Then you gotta go sell it to the players.
So we get to jump over all that. And it's simply going to be, "Hey Geep, what'd you guys call this last year?". And I know they use a west coast language, of which I'm very familiar with. So there's not going to be one hiccup, surprise, not too many for me. And Colin will be, "Let's go to practice. Now." That, one more box to check for the positive.