Philbin gets his man in Lazor - will it work?

Dolphins new offensive coordinator comes with a rich background

X's and Omar: Dolphins hire Bill Lazor as offensive coordinator

And so a franchise desperate for some good news got some Wednesday. It didn't just hire the guy they targeted in offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. It hired a guy Detroit targeted, too, reports said.

It hired an offensive mind that the league's most innovative offensive mind, Philadelphia's coach Chip Kelly, hired a year ago. It hired the quarterback coach from the team where the quarterback, Nick Foles, made a quantum leap in one season.

In short, put down the torches and pitchforks, folks. Take a deep breath. The Dolphins hired just the kind of offensive coordinator you wondered if they could get with coach Joe Philbin possibly facing a win-or-else season next year.

And now they try to do the same at general manger. They try to get a guy they want, which is all the further you can judge these decisions, with all these jobs, until the scoreboards start moving again.

Oh, you'll read in the coming months about how Lazor will do this. And how he'll do that. Everyone will get overly excited in the same manner everyone has been overly critical this past month about the Dolphins.

And, with all due respect, the best thing in both cases is to watch the process play out. Lazor has never been an NFL coordinator before, after all. He's never called plays at this level. So all we know for now is the Dolphins got a guy they targeted.

"I'm here because of Joe Philbin,'' Lazor said.

That's good to hear. But what else was he to say? And you know who else said that?

"Tony Sparano sold me,'' offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said in 2011.

"I like what Nick Saban is doing,'' Mike Mularkey said in 2006.

We could go on, back through the years, and I'm sure every new hire says the same thing and has the same sense of excitement. Wouldn't you salute the boss in starting a new job?

Even after Mike Sherman's first, upbeat month of Dolphins games, he sat in a cramped room and talked about wanting to run an up-tempo offense where one-word plays were the order of the day.

"We have about 20 plays we can call with one word,'' Sherman said. " 'Shiner' is a play. 'Hurricane' is a play. River. Tree. Nantucket. Cape Cod. Boston.

"Most of them are words that come to me in the summertime. I go up there and fish on Nantucket Sound between Martha's Vinehyard, Cape Cod and Nantucket and say, 'Yeah, I think I'll call a play that.' ''

The Dolphins never got to that up-tempo offense. Maybe that was his fault considering the playmaking talent. Or maybe it was general manager Jeff Ireland's fault for giving Sherman a questionable left tackle, undependable line, no fullback and no tall tight end who could attack the defense.

Now Sherman and Ireland are gone. Now there's a new offensive coordinator and we wait on the new general manager. And then we wait some more to see if it works this time. At least we should, if we've learned anything again these past few weeks.

Dolphins owner Steve Ross has spent the past few weeks cleaning up a front-office oil spill where the coaching staff didn't trust the GM. You don't have to ignore the scars of the last decade to give it a chance to succeed.

Wednesday was the first step toward that. Lazor has worked for a lot of big, offensive names – Dan Reeves, Joe Gibbs, Mike Holmgren, Kelly. He sounds like the kind of smart up-and-comer a team wants to hire.

But no one knows on the outside how much he was responsible for Foles' success in Philadelphia and how much Kelly was. No one knows if this first NFL coordinating job is the next step of a great career for him or a step too far.

We do know the Dolphins got a guy they targeted to be their offensive coordinator and now chase a general manager. We also know this will have worked if the Dolphins are making news on the field next January rather than in the employment office.

 

BLOGS

Jump to a blog