With Ben McAdoo, QB coach of the Green Bay Packers, being hired by the New York Giants to be their OC the same day he interviewed with the Dolphins, Miami’s options were getting thin. Lazor was chosen over Kyle Shanahan who also interviewed for Miami’s OC position.
Lazor could be a huge pick-up for the Dolphins, whose offense finished 27th in the league last season and was often described as bland and predictable. Lazor has worked under greats such as Joe Gibbs and Mike Holmgren in his ten-year NFL coaching career and has most recently worked under Chip Kelly in Philadelphia.
The hope is that Lazor can carry over some of the Eagles’ creativity to this Dolphins’ offense which has so much potential with dynamic pieces like Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Charles Clay and Lamar Miller. Lazor will have work with young Ryan Tannehill frequently who is entering his third season in the NFL and is playing in a new offense for the first time since high school.
Tannehill has flashed at times, like the comeback win over the New England Patriots in Week 15 of last season, to give fans hopes that he might break the longstanding “Marino curse.” He has also shown signs that he may not be a franchise quarterback, like the choke job he led in the last two weeks of the season when the Dolphins’ offense only mustered seven points against division rivals with a Wild-Card berth in the AFC Playoffs on the line.
Lazor turned Nick Foles, a quarterback who started the season on the bench after he failed to win the starting job in training camp, into one of the NFL’s top passers last season. Foles finished the season with 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions in 10 starts and finished the season with a 119.2 passer rating. Foles put up a 79.1 rating in limited opportunities before Lazor arrived in Philadelphia.
This is what Dolphins fans hope to see happen with Tannehill, who many perceive to be more talented than Foles. Lazor will also have to fix a rushing unit that was ranked 26th in the league in 2013. Philadelphia was ranked first in the league in rushing, and if Lazor was paying attention in the meeting rooms he could duplicate that success in Miami.
While Miami’s running backs are not as talented as LeSean McCoy, they aren’t slouches either. Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller possess talent; they just need a coach who will game plan towards their strengths, and Mike Sherman, the Dolphins’ former OC, was not that coach.
The Dolphins will also likely pick up another running back and multiple offensive linemen to bolster their running game this offseason.
If the Dolphins’ new General Manager can provide Tannehill with an offensive line to throw behind and Tannehill can learn to play in a new offense for the first time since 2007 then Lazor will be set up for success. Time will tell if this is a good hire, but for now it seems like the Dolphins have at least hit a triple. Not a bad way to lead off the offseason.