Eagles assistant Lazor hired as Miami coordinator
MIAMI (AP) — New Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor says he can help head coach Joe Philbin win games and some job security.
Lazor said he accepted the job Wednesday because of Philbin, even though his new boss’ status is shaky after two so-so seasons.
“Right now my future and his future are together,” Lazor said. “I’m in it with him. I choose to compete and make an impact and to be a difference-maker, and that’s why I’m here.”
Lazor was hired Wednesday by Philbin after one season as quarterbacks coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he helped develop second-year pro Nick Foles into the NFL’s top-rated passer.
The Dolphins also had a second-year quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. Foles threw 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions, while Tannehill threw 24 and 17.
Lazor said he studied Tannehill on video before accepting the job.
“I’m really excited to work with him,” Lazor said. “I see a lot of ability.”
The Dolphins ranked 27th in the NFL in yards, finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year. The Eagles ranked second in total yards and offensive points, went 10-6 and won the NFC East.
“A lot of the things that led to that are going to have a great impact in what I believe works going forward,” Lazor said.
Lazor was offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia from 2010 to 2012, and he has also worked for the Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons. He replaces Mike Sherman, who was fired last week after two seasons with Miami and was Tannehill’s head coach at Texas A&M.
The Dolphins are also searching for a general manager to replace Jeff Ireland, who departed last week after six seasons. On Wednesday they announced the completion of an interview with Brian Xanders, senior personnel executive with the Detroit Lions.
Five candidates interviewed earlier.
Considered along with Lazor for the offensive coordinator job were Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo, who was hired Tuesday as offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, and former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Lazor said he and Philbin hit it off during the interview process. They had known each other casually for years.
“Bill is an accomplished coach and will be a great addition to our coaching staff,” Philbin said in a statement. “Bill has been instrumental in helping players reach their full potential, as players and people, at both the college and professional level. He also has a proven track record of success working with a wide variety of offenses.”
In addition to the Eagles’ Chip Kelly, Lazor has coached under Dan Reeves, Joe Gibbs and Mike Holmgren.
“The No. 1 thing that was common was that they had a vision of how offensive football should look,” Lazor said. “Every day we went out to practice, they made sure what they saw on the field was heading toward that vision. It’s the job of the coaches to keep pushing in that direction.”
Lazor was noncommittal regarding other possible changes in Philbin’s offensive staff.
“He and I have not had all of our conversations about the structure of the staff,” Lazor said. “That’s something that will be handled going forward.”
Some sort of shakeup was inevitable after the Dolphins scored once in their final 24 possessions while losing their final two games to blow a potential playoff berth. Miami allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks, and offseason upgrades will focus on an offensive line depleted by the team’s midseason bullying scandal.
The Dolphins might be in the market for a running back, too. Lamar Miller scored two touchdowns, the lowest total for a player leading the Dolphins in rushing since 1980.
Miami threw the ball 65 percent of the time, third-highest in the NFL. The Eagles threw it 53 percent of the time, sixth-lowest.
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