Whether he's in the radio booth or on the sideline, Steve Logan has a knack for thinking outside the box.
The new Boston College offensive coordinator had spent the last year dividing his time between coaching in NFL Europe and hosting a sports talk radio show in North Carolina. He began the radio show last fall with the hope of offering more explanation and less criticism.
"You listen to talk radio and quite honestly, there are a lot of people talking on the radio who had never been in the trenches," said Logan, a former head coach at East Carolina. "I approached the station and they were really receptive to it. When it's all said and done, I'll probably get into that."
That radio career will have to wait a few more years. As much as he enjoyed his talk show, Logan couldn't turn down the chance to join the staff of a legitimate Atlantic Coast Conference title contender.
This latest opportunity reunites him with new Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski, who had worked alongside Logan at East Carolina for eight seasons. The two coaches worked together as assistants from 1989-92, then Jagodzinski remained on the staff for four more seasons after Logan was hired as head coach.
"We've remained close over the years," said Logan, the East Carolina head coach from 1992-2002. "That, coupled with the chance to work at Boston College, was intriguing to me. The cut of cloth you get to work with up here – the type of kid – was intriguing to me."
That includes the opportunity to work with Matt Ryan, a returning first-team all-ACC quarterback who could flourish in Logan's system.
Logan, 54, is replacing Dana Bible, who followed former Boston College head coach Tom O'Brien to North Carolina State. Although Boston College led the ACC in total offense two years ago and ranked second in the league last season, Bible's critics said his play calling was too conservative.
That adjective rarely has been used to describe Logan's offense.
Eight of the 10 best single-season passing performances in East Carolina history came during Logan's tenure as the Pirates' coach or co-offensive coordinator. His quarterbacks at East Carolina included former Cincinnati Bengal Jeff Blake and current Jacksonville Jaguar David Garrard.
Logan later spent three seasons in NFL Europe, where two of his quarterbacks – Rohan Davey in 2004 and Dave Ragone in 2005 – were selected as the league's offensive most valuable players.
"He's an aggressive coach who has an aggressive mind-set,'' said Ryan, who remembers watching Logan's teams at East Carolina. "As soon as you get out on the field, it's a lot of fun to play for Steve. I've enjoyed working for him so far."
That feeling is mutual.
Logan appreciates Ryan enough to compare the senior quarterback to Ragone, who set an NFL Europe record two years ago by throwing 176 consecutive passes without an interception.
"Matt reminds me a lot of him," Logan said. "He sees the field real easily. The game makes sense to him. I can have a really in-depth discussion with him about anything from protection to run schemes to those kinds of things. He's got a chance to play at the next level. There's no question in my mind."
If history offers any indication, Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan should have a huge season playing for new Boston College offensive coordinator Steve Logan. This list shows that many quarterbacks have thrived under Logan's system.
Jeff Blake: This former East Carolina quarterback set school records in passing yards (3,073) and touchdown passes (28) in 1991 with Logan as his co-offensive coordinator. Blake finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year as East Carolina went 11-1 and defeated North Carolina State in the Peach Bowl.
Marcus Crandell: East Carolina made back-to-back bowl appearances in 1994 and 1995 with Crandell as its starting quarterback. Crandell passed for 2,687 yards in 1994 and threw for 2,751 yards the following year. Those remain the fourth- and fifth-highest single-season totals in school history. He ranked among the top 10 players nationally in total offense both seasons.
David Garrard: Now a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Garrard played for East Carolina from 1998-2001 during Logan's 11-year tenure as the Pirates' head coach. The three-time all-Conference USA selection broke 28 school passing and total offense records, including the marks for career passing yards (9,029) and touchdown passes (60). Garrard helped the Pirates make three consecutive bowl appearances from 1999-2001.
Rohan Davey: When Logan worked as the Berlin Thunder's quarterbacks and wide receivers coach in 2004, Davey was named the NFL Europe Offensive MVP. Davey led the league in touchdown passes and passer rating while helping Berlin win the World Bowl title.
Dave Ragone: Ragone was the NFL Europe Offensive MVP in 2005 while playing for Logan, who was coaching the Berlin Thunder's quarterbacks and wide receivers. Ragone led the league in passing yards and set an NFL Europe record by throwing 176 consecutive passes without an interception that season as Berlin returned to the World Bowl.
While his arrival has brought speculation that Boston College might throw the ball downfield more often, Logan wants to make sure the Eagles have a balanced attack. In fact, Logan has placed particular emphasis on boosting a rushing attack that ranked 92nd out of 119 Division I-A teams last year.
But it's his reputation as a quarterback guru that has created excitement around Chestnut Hill.
"Steve is the best teacher of quarterback play I have been around," Jagodzinski said after hiring Logan. "His offenses will be both dynamic and exciting to watch. Get ready."
Logan's radio work has received similar raves.
Because he spent the last few years working at NFL Europe, which played its games in the spring and summer, Logan had plenty of free time during the American football season.
He started calling in regularly to North Carolina radio shows and later sat in for a twice-weekly, one-hour spot on WRBZ-850 The Buzz in Raleigh, N.C. He then spent the 2006 football season doing his own two-hour show on WDNC-620 The Bull, also in Raleigh.
Logan's shows would focus on football while also veering into other passions such as fishing and the blues. He tried to provide analysis that would stand apart from other sports talk shows.
"I made the presentation to the radio people that there are enough people out there criticizing," Logan said. "I thought it might be interesting to have someone analyzing things and talking to people about why something was happening as opposed to the usual routine of assignment of blame. Quite honestly, that idea really took off."
In the last two months he was on the air, Logan's show posted the highest ratings of any show on that particular station. Adam Gold, the program director at WRBZ and WDNC, was so impressed that he wrote the word, "Natural,'' while listening to Logan's first show.
"He's phenomenal," Gold said. "He's an absolute no-brainer future star to me, if he wants to be."
Logan won't be chatting on the airwaves quite as often this fall.
But his offensive schemes just might make Boston College the talk of the ACC.