Bill Lazor, Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator. Picture courtesy of CBS Miami Local.

Dolphins Lazor Has Offensive Control



The Miami Dolphins have had issues with offensive coordinators for quite some time.  The last truly decent OC the team had was, in my opinion, all the way back to Scott Linehan who coached with Nick Saban.  For one season.  Since then we have watched Cam Cameron play double duty.  For one season.  Watched Dan Henning bring his out of date philosophy to the team for three years.  Brian Daboll did a decent job but really didn’t have the overall talent and freedom to do his job.  Then came Mike Sherman who, like Henning, brought an ancient and outdated philosophy.  Sure the West Coast Offense is a really good one, if you know how to call the plays.  Sherman didn’t.

Now we are asked to put our trust into new OC Bill Lazor.  Lazor has been an OC for the Buffalo Bills in 2001 and a head coach at the collegiate level.  Last year he came back to the NFL to serve as a QB’s coach under Chip Kelly.  Kelly’s offense was potent, fast, and scored points.  Most of the time.  Lazor was credited with the development of Nick Foles.  So much so that the Eagles let Michael Vick ride the bench when he got healthy and then the unemployment line.

Naturally the question of who would have the control over the offense has been a hot topic of debate.  Many believe that Lazor is the right man for the job.  But only if HC Joe Philbin stays out of it.  The same people that believe Lazor will do well in Miami also believe that Joe Philbin will exert too much of his own ideas into the offense.  Making it more like Sherman than anything else.  The Dolphins have tried to truly implement a WC offense with a slight hybrid approach but they lack a seam threat TE that can double up in two TE sets.  Something that the WC utilizes quite often.  Last year they also lacked an offensive line.  A position that every offensive scheme needs to be working properly.

The good news is that the offensive line may have been fixed.  With Ja’Wuan James at RT and Billy Turner and Shelley Smith competing for the guard position and Sam Brenner a likely candidate to remain at LG, the Dolphin may have a solid foundation to work the offensive system that Lazor wants to employ.  While TE is still a bit of a question mark, lacking a true seam threat they have gotten better at blocking from the position.

Still, the question remains as to how much control Lazor will actually have?  If you believe a recent Miami Herald article, he may just have all of it.

The Herald points out that Lazor was told by members of the Eagles not to accept the Dolphins OC job unless he had total control over the plays being made.  Including over Joe Philbin.  Thus far the players that have seen the playbook and have worked with Lazor on it are excited about what it could bring to the team.  To be fair, players are not likely going to bash the system or the coach publicly but privately we should have already heard some grumblings about it.  We haven’t so that is a good sign.

In Philadelphia, Chip Kelly ran a spread offense and in Miami they run a hybrid WC style.  Players are saying the new offense combines a bit of both with two TE sets, spread formations, under center and shotgun formations.  According to the Herald report.  For the first time in a  long time Miami Dolphins fans might finally get a look at an aggressive play calling OC.  And why wouldn’t they?  Unlike his predecessor, Lazor is an up and coming coach not one on the tail end of his career.  If Lazor aspires to some day run his own team then he could turn a lot of heads by turning around the Dolphins offense.

A lot is riding on the upcoming season.  Joe Philbin’s job in Miami.  Ryan Tannehill’s job as the Dolphins franchise QB.  Dennis Hickey’s job as the GM.  To say nothing of the other coaches, scouting department, and even players.  Offensively a lot is riding on the shoulders of Bill Lazor and the Dolphins may have caught a huge break getting him now when in another year or two demand could have been much, much higher.

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  • Johnny

    It’s going to be exciting to watch this hybrid WC/Spread/ Fast/ 3-4 WR sets.. Please give Tannehill the weapons and the actually calls to succeed.. So he can steadily improve and be that Franchise QB this organization has needed since the days of Marino.. It’s a tough schedule.. But the main thing is to average more then the 19 points we averaged on Offense last year.. We should be averaging 24 points a game to just have a chance at a winning record… But, for the first time in a LONG TIME, I’m excited about our new OC…

    • David Thompson

      Johnny I get that you hate our draft and o-line but last year our D gave up 20.9 ppg and we were 6-1 when we scored 23 points or more. If we average 24 ppg we’ll be a playoff team. I’m really excited about this season. I can’t remember the last time I said that pre-season, not for any of our 2nd round QBs so what’s that 10 years lol.

      • Johnny

        David.. Yes not a fan of the draft.. It’s not really the players, but WHEN they took them.. Not a fan of drafting 5 non-BCS players.. But their will be maybe 1 or 2 diamonds of the 5.. Hopefully one is T/G Turner.. I really like LB Tripps potential.. And you probably know I liked the WR Landry pick… (But I’m over the draft now, time to move on)
        It all come down to putting points on the board.. As we both know.. As you stated, when scoring 23pts+, we were 6-1.. But then end up with a 19pt average??? I guess the name we are looking for is “consistency”.. If we can be more consistent this year..And more balanced with the pass/run ratio.. And obviously winning the turnover battle, then we are playoff bound…
        And I’m really looking forward to Lazor’s play-calling.. It should be really exciting… If it’s anything like Philly’s Offense last year it will pretty sweet… I’m looking forward to it..
        I’m realistic bro, I say it as I see it IMO…
        Just getting tired of spending $2Gs a year (plus beer, food, and gas/tolls) and drive 2.5hrs round trip to watch the Phins lose every year.. You know?? It’s been 5 years since a winning season…
        That’s not too much to ask for, is it??? LOL…
        Forget the playoffs, I just want to see a winning season, and if it’s enough to make the playoffs.. That’s an extra!!
        Quick stat:: Even if they expanded the playoffs to 7 or 8 teams in each conference… Since 2002 (except 2008) the Dolphins STILL wouldn’t have made the playoffs.. Meaning they haven’t even finished in the top 8 of the 16 teams in the AFC…
        Man, I miss the 70′s – 90′s.. LOL..
        I hope this is the year bro!!
        Phins up!!

        • David Thompson

          Ain’t that the truth bro, we did fine against play-off teams last year, couldn’t beat bottom dwellers and got killed in our division. But yeah dude I hear ya, that price is killer but I admire the dedication. I live up in upstate NY so only 1 game a year, Bills assholes though lol. I really hope Tannehill is what I think he is, I barely remember Marino.

          • Johnny

            Theirs a NYC Dolfan club up in NY.. Your not close to it but you should check it out… There is a Dolphin bar in the City.. I’m originally from NY.. East Islip, Long Island .. I go every year.. Will go in acouple of months .. And I got to check out the Dolphins bar.. Never been there.. I’ll have to bust out one if my Marino Jerseys. … Or maybe Czonka .. Or go new with Tannehill… But I’m definetily going to check it out .., but yeh.. I hope we break out this season.. There always seems to be a Cinderella team every year.. I hope our Phins is that team..

          • Johnny

            Also.. Your right.. It all starts within the Division… We went 2-4 last year.. We need to flip that to 4-2… And I’ll be honest.. You know me.. NE had a bad draft.. But the Bills and Jets had a pretty good draft.. Jets with S Pryor and TE Amaro.. And Bills snagged WR Sammy Watkins… While we are trying to sneak up on NE, I think the stinking Bills and Jets are sneaking up on us… But, yes, to make the playoffs, you have to win vs. Division opponents… And it’s funny.. Every Sunday I root for all NFC Teams to beat AFC teams.. From week 1.. Cause you know, every game counts..

  • tpl

    I am hoping lazor can use egnew as a pass catching TE. With Moreno at RB, clay at TE, and Mike Wallace, the pieces are there. Throw in sure handed Landry and the new offensive lineman and there is hope. Plus, maybe if philbin stumbles this year, miami has found a head coach.

    • Johnny

      Just depends on how fast our new OLine can Gel.. It all starts with the OLine..

  • gofins60

    For me, this is a problem: I don’t like Philbin, and believe that Ross made a huge mistake by hiring him. IMO, he should’ve been released along with Ireland after the team’s monumental collapse to end the season. Now, should Lazor actually turn this offense around, Philbin will get some of the credit. If Lazor eventually gets a Head Coach offer, we’ll be left with Philbin since Ross won’t fire him if the Fins do well. Because Ross keeps refusing to clean house, every new hire is being saddled with elements of the previous regime. This is why no top GM candidate wanted the job; they would be forced to accept Philbin and Hickey was the ONLY one willing to work with Philbin.

    • bbies1973

      If Lazor is successful, and able to do half as good as he claims that he will (adjusting the playcalls to the player talent, rather than the opposite that has been happening in Miami), then we can hope that the head coach offer he gets is in Miami.

  • Brody Ledingham

    Brian, I heard you guys say that Lazor was OC for the Buffalo Bills on your show Tues night and that seemed odd to me – he would’ve been in his 20′s in 2001. Anyway, I looked it up and it was actually the Buffalo “Bulls” (as in University of Buffalo) that he was OC for. Regardless, I believe he has the pedigree and intelligence to be successful. I also think he DOES have control of the offense too. Something nobody is talking about, do you remember when Lazor first interviewed with Dolphins there was a snafoo and word got out that he was rejecting the job and pursuing something else? Well I think there’s a good chance that he got the offer and didn’t like the control he was being given of the offense, listened to those people close to him, and rejected the offer. The Dolphins desperate at that time might’ve counter offered and finally just gave him control. Purely speculation on my part, but it would make sense. Notice Dolphins never really gave an explanation on what really happened when it looked like he was rejecting the offer.