The Chicago Bears now have a new offensive coordinator. After reportedly losing out on the services of Pat Shurmur, who will be the new OC for the Denver Broncos, the Bears have hired former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor to be their new offensive coordinator, replacing Mark Helfrich.
Lazor has been coaching since 1994, and was most recently the OC for the Bengals from 2017-2018. A few things jump out about the hiring of Lazor. The first is that he was out of football this season, which has been a pattern amongst the new coaches the Bears have brought in this offseason. Both new offensive line coach Juan Castillo and new tight ends coach Clancy Barone spent the 2019 season out of the NFL.
Another interesting element to consider surrounding Lazor is who he has worked with in the past: quarterback Andy Dalton, who many have suggested would be a good veteran quarterback to bring in next season. Here’s a bit of background on the Bears’ new offensive coaching addition.
Bill Lazor Background: Bears New OC Worked Under Joe Gibbs
Lazor’s career began in the collegiate ranks. He was an assistant coach at Cornell from 1994-2000, and then he moved on to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Buffalo from 2001-2002. His first year in the NFL came the next year, when he served on the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff as an offensive quality control coach. After that, he worked with NFL coaching legend Joe Gibbs, as an offensive assistant with the Washington Redskins from 2004-2005 before becoming Washington’s quarterback’s coach from 2006-2007.
Lazor has bounced around a bit since, coaching in Seattle, Philadelphia, and Miami, where he got his first gig as an offensive coordinator with the Dolphins from 2014-2015. He moved on to Cincinnati after that, serving as quarterbacks coach in Cincinnati in 2016 before taking on OC duties in 2017-2018.
One of Lazor’s primary accomplishments has been his repeated success with the running game. His offenses finished in the top 10 in the league in rushing yards per attempt in three of his four years as coordinator.
Lazor has not only worked with Gibbs, he has worked with Mike Holmgren and Dan Reeves, as well, and while he was out of the NFL in 2019, Lazor was a volunteer consultant for Penn State. Andy Dalton is not the only quarterback Lazor has worked with who is expected to be available this offseason. A.J. McCarron, whom he also worked with in Cincinnati, could also be on the market.