Recipe for success: Bears break down their ‘doughnut’ conversion play

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Updated: October 12, 2017

10:26 AM ET

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Chicago Bears’ successful 2-point conversion in Monday night’s 20-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings became an instant hit on social media for its creativity.

The play went as follows in the official NFL game log: Mitchell Trubisky handed off to Jordan Howard who handed off to Zach Miller who lateraled to Trubisky. ATTEMPT SUCCEEDS.

Truth be told, the Bears tested out the play in training camp over the summer but the team’s media policy prohibits reporters from sharing any formations/personnel groupings with the general public.

Still, where did the idea for the play come from?

Three key people involved in the now-famous conversion attempt discussed its origin and execution after Wednesday’s practice.

Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains: “2000, I’m a freshman at Arkansas, knew I wanted to coach my whole life. I had this notebook I kept since I was a freshman in high school in 1995. I used to record VHS tapes and it goes back to my Dad telling me, ‘If you want to do this, you got to work as hard as you can.’ I was going to be a walk-on at Arkansas and I was an extreme over-achiever as a high school quarterback. I knew I was going to have to out-work everybody, study and have a passion for football.

“I had a notebook and was watching the Tampa Bay Bucs play a game. The offensive coordinator was a guy named Les Steckel. They ran the play. I drew the play up in the notebook that I’d had. I finished at Arkansas and worked one year for the Cowboys and then go to the Tennessee Titans where coach Steckel had been the offensive coordinator during their Super Bowl run. He happened to be coach Mike Munchak’s next-door neighbor. We ended up hiring his son at the end of 2013 to be our offensive quality control guy. I got to meet coach Steckel one day. We go to Easter with coach Palmer, Chris Palmer, Mike Munchak and Les Steckel and his wife. I had this notebook and I said, ‘Coach, I’ve got to ask you about this one play, You ran it 13 years ago.’ He called it doughnut. I don’t know. He’s a really creative guy. They did it with I think Shaun King, Mike Alstott and maybe Warrick Dunn.

“So I’ve always had this play, as a coaching staff upstairs, we had this play. But you’ve got to have Zach Miller. You got to have a tight end or a Mike Alstott that you trust with the ball-handling. So it’s just an option play off that. That’s where the play came from. Coach Les Steckel deserves all the credit for it. We just installed it 17 years later.”

Bears tight end Zach Miller: “I think the key to making the play successful was the fantastic design from Dowell. Everything has to be executed perfectly. There’s a lot of transitions, passing the ball, so great design and execution by everyone.

“Being an option quarterback (Miller was an option QB in college) is like riding a bike. That’s why I switched from quarterback to tight end because the option was my best pass. It’s one of those things where you have to attack the outside shoulder of the defender and play off of him. It would’ve been sweet if he would’ve run with Mitch and I could have walked in, but he had to come back and pop me in the chin. But good play for us.”

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky: “Yeah, just there was a little smile going into the huddle, we were like we’re going to score and tie the game right here. So I just hand it off and really it came down to the execution by the other guys. Good handoffs and Zach Miller making a great play, that’s not an easy read and a tough pitch, and he executed it perfectly. We practice it, go over it over and over again and it came to life in the game. So that was really cool to see. Those are the kind of plays you do get excited for.”

Article source: http://www.espn.com/blog/chicago-bears/post/_/id/4706673/anatomy-of-bears-celebrated-two-point-conversion-from-monday-night