Getting to Know New Bears Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor

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Getting to Know New Bears Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears ended the 2019 season firing a handful of assistant coaches, and have since filled those vacancies with new coaches who will bring new voices and perspectives to a locker room that could use a boost. Next up, the new offensive coordinator.

Previous: OL Coach Juan Castillo, TE Coach Clancy Barone

Offensive Coordinator

William V. (Bill) Lazor, age 47

Lazor’s Coaching Experience

  • Cornell (Offensive assistant, 1994-98, QBs Coach/Passing Game Coordinator 1999-2000)
  • Buffalo (Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, 2001-02)
  • Atlanta Falcons (Offensive quality control, 2003)
  • Washington Redskins (Offensive assistant, 2004-05; QBs Coach 2006-07)
  • Seattle Seahawks (QBs Coach, 2008-09)
  • Virginia (Offensive coordinator and QBs Coach, 2010-12)
  • Philadelphia Eagles (QBs Coach, 2013)
  • Miami Dolphins (Offensive coordinator, 2014-15)
  • Cincinnati Bengals (QBs Coach, 2016; Offensive coordinator, 2017-18)

Notable Coaches Worked For…

  • Wade Phillips (2003)
  • Dan Reeves (2003)
  • Joe Gibbs (2004-07)
  • Mike Holmgren (2008-09)
  • Chip Kelly (2013)
  • Pat Shurmur (2013)
  • Joe Philbin (2014-15)
  • Marvin Lewis (2016-18)

Why He’s Here

Off the top, Lazor isn’t here to call plays. Head Coach Matt Nagy retains play-calling responsibilities as he heads into his third season with the Bears. So what does an offensive coordinator do when he isn’t calling the shots? For starters, he is a conduit between Nagy and quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Whatever message Nagy is sending out, Lazor is in charge of making sure Trubisky comprehends it and can execute from it.

Lazor has a ton of experience with quarterbacks, and you can figure the Bears will lean on that in an attempt to get the most out of Trubisky. The new offensive coordinator was recently lauded for his ability to simplify schemes for his offensive playmakers, which is something that was seemingly needed in Chicago. Lazor also has an existing relationship with Andy Dalton and Nick Foles, a pair of quarterbacks who have been oft-rumored to be players of interest for a Bears team that is expected to push Trubisky with competition this upcoming season.

Hey, This Could Work …

Lazor has a bunch of professional experience coaching quarterbacks and as a play caller. And as far as I’m concerned, those are two things the Bears needed to prioritize in their search for a new offensive coordinator. Because even though Lazor isn’t calling plays, his time in that role while with the Dolphins and Bengals should give him a voice in the offensive think tank when the Bears are drawing up plays and concepts. He has also worked with and for some long-respected NFL coaches, such as Mike Holmgren, Joe Gibbs, and Pat Shurmur. Lazor also worked with Chip Kelly, so he should have a good grasp on the types of concepts that have worked (and the ones that won’t work) at the NFL level.

Then again, the résumé has experience … but it’s not all great. The Bengals and Dolphins didn’t light up scoreboards. Things never truly evolved in Philadelphia. The Holmgren era was OK in Seattle, but Lazor caught the tail end of that ride. But I keep coming back to the value of experience in the pros, which I think counts for something. Unfortunately, we won’t know the value of what Lazor brings to the table until we see if this Bears offense evolves. Because if it doesn’t, Lazor’s time in Chicago could end as quickly as it did for his predecessor.

(Photo by Getty Images)


Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.