Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lazor ready to assess his tools and get to work


While the vacant general manager position has yet to be filled, the Miami Dolphins filled out their coaching staff Wednesday by hiring Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor as offensive coordinator.

A day after it was reported that Lazor had accepted a position with the Detroit Lions, the Dolphins' newest employee talked to the media about what convinced him to choose Miami after multiple interviews.

“It’s simple, it was [head] coach [Joe] Philbin himself," Lazor said, via the team's website. "You want to be around people who are committed to winning and doing things the right way.

"I want to be around football people, which is what coach Philbin is."

Lazor replaces Philbin's longtime friend and mentor Mike Sherman, who engineered an offense that ranked 27th and 26th in his two seasons at the helm.

That will be expected to improve under Lazor, but the longtime NFL quarterbacks coach's most important task will be to develop Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill saw his numbers improve this season, but will need to take another step forward to realize his franchise potential.

"I’m excited to work with him because I see a lot of ability," Lazor, who helped Eagles third round quarterback become the league's highest rated passer in 2013, said. "I see both physical ability and from what I see the ability to play the game. It would be premature to make an evaluation of what he can be and what he can do because I haven’t been around him that much."

Ultimately, he'll be judged on whether he can command a dynamic offense, something he was certainly a part of in Philadelphia. He believes the core principles that led to that success will follow him to South Florida.

"Certainly [Eagles head] coach [Chip] Kelly had an impact on me," Lazor said. "We had the leading rusher. We had the highest rated passer. We were able to be an explosive offense. Certainly a lot of things that led to that are going to have a great impact on what I believe works going forward."

Lazor confirmed that he would also be taking over Sherman's offensive play-calling duties but wisely reserved comments on what his offense will look like until he became more familiar with the players on the roster.

"The number one factor in how we do it and specifically how it looks is going to be the ability of the players we have," he continued. "I haven’t done nearly enough [research] to be able to answer that question."

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