Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
.Buzz

Bears hire Bill Lazor as OC

Recommended Posts

I don't wanna turn this thread into the same blame game type of "Is it Nagy or the personnel" discussion that we have seen happening among fans over the past 6 months, but I feel like it's inevitable to happen here with this kind of discussion, which I don't to happen, but this is a good time to preface everything that I have to say. 

To get it out the way, my opinion is that it's not just anyone person's fault whenever an offense is as bad it was this year for us. Its EVERYONE's fault. It's Nagy's fault, it's Mitch's fault, it's the RB's fault, its the WR's dopping passes fault, it's the OL fault.....nobody is immune to criticism here.  That said......

5 hours ago, AZBearsFan said:

An undoubtedly (IMO) huge part of that lies in our TE personnel problem. Often the quick hit pass on a RPO is to the slanting TE. They weren’t doing that with Braunecker or Horsted. The trust just wasn’t there.

I agree. The lack of talent at the TE position was part of the problem and needs to fixed asap, wholeheartedly.

This is how I see it, personally, IMO.

In Nagy's defense, going into the 2019 season I knew we were a bit short-handed but I was comfortable with it. Like many, I thought Burton would get even better. Shaheen was finally healthy and could bring something to the table if he could stay healthy. Braunecker looked like he had a lot of potential last year, IMO.

And this may have been how Nagy looked at it as well and designed the offensive plays around this it. But when none of these things happen as he envisioned them and then the injuries started to appear, he was sort of left with trying to make his RPO's work with players who were not in his original plan and so he had to improvise.

I can fully understand all of that. 

However, it Nagy's responsibility as the Head Coach to make adjustments when unforeseen things happen such as injuries and players underachieving and he never did that. Those 44 RPO's didn't just come early in the season before any of the aforementioned things happened and he decided he didn't have the right personell anymore to execute his gameplans. They never changed (albeit, weeks 14-17 they did change when he started lining Mitch up under center a but more and utilizing the PA since Montegomery was gaining traction).

Plus, I don't think the injuries and lack of progression from the TE's would've matter too much anyhow seeing as how they were used earlier in the season anyhow.  Earlier in the season, Nagy used a 5'8 Cohen like a TE far too often than he should have, even when Burton was Healthy. He ran RPOs with Davis and Shaheen out of the an 11 personnel--which is just asking for trouble. 

5 hours ago, AZBearsFan said:

We didn’t see the TE shovel pass this year either. Not once that I can recall. Really, a lot of the creative stuff we did in 2018 was just completely missing in 2019.

I don't remember one either tbh. The closest ones I can remember is when Cohen fumbled a similar play against the Packers out of the 32 and Petterson taking a couple of pitch-like passes in motion.

The lack of creativity I do put a lot of that on the lack of execution from the players more than I do from Nagy, imo. I also think it limited him more even more when he started to dumb down the offense more around week 4-5?.

5 hours ago, AZBearsFan said:

We can’t know for sure but I’d wager a lot of it was due to the dearth of NFL talent available at that position. All the more reason I think a top FA TE is going to be our priority. A rookie would be great too, especially with Burton again to be a question mark going toward TC, but we NEED a known commodity there. 

I've already given my reasons as to why I don't think it will happen in another thread. BUT, I would love it if it does, for two reasons.

1) You know the old saying "a TE is a young QB's best friend". Landing a Kittle type TE will help Nagy, Mitch, and the run game tremendously.

2) If the offense does fail and everyone gets fired and we start over with another rookie QB then....." you know the old saying "a TE is a young QB's best friend". 

I remember Kittle made what's his name (can't think of it) look a legit QB last year in his first NFL start.

 

Edited by JustAnotherFan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@JustAnotherFan

I hear what you are saying and I agree with most of it.  I think on paper I thought the team was great before summer and I trumpeted that from rooftops.  

My opinion on team started to break down when I actually went to a Bears practice and closely followed as many others as I could. me come at the Bears problems from a different angle.  A coaching/practice angle.  

Coaching matters more in football than any other sport by a wide margin.  Because there are more people, more variables and lots of specialized roles.  Assuming you are teaching correctly and good (a big assumption that is often not true), coaching advantage comes down to efficiency of practice.  Most everyone practices roughly the same amount of hours.  The more efficient you are in your practice time the better your advantage.  

To illustrate some examples:  Mike Leach will have 5 QBs throwing to 5 receivers throughout his practices, he doesn't have 1 doing and 4 watching.  That is a way he maximizes QB and WR development in practice time he has.   Just an example. Another is coaches figured out you could get more good reps and learning by combining fast moving drills with conditioning so you didn't have to separate the two.   For decades coaches would separate conditioning (wind sprints etc.) from rest of practice.  Then someone started combining them and they gained an advantage and others copied and so on.  Lots of things like this, everything is scheduled.  The practice game evolves just like the on field game does.

Nagy practices mostly via semi-live or live scrimmaging with thud tackling.  That is good sometimes and bad sometimes as a coach.  I think you absolutely need to do that, but you shouldn't do it nearly as much as Nagy does.   In my experience it is really bad idea when one side of ball is a lot better than the other or one side of ball is really beat up which amounts to same thing in practice.  Mostly it is bad early because defense is mostly always ahead of offense early since offense requires so much precision in execution.       

 The full offense basically couldn't practice against our defense in summer.  The defenders came straight through every time and Nagy, being prideful, did not handicap them at all.  So 90+ percent of offensive reps were absolutely worthless.   To a football coach every wasted rep is a rep where your opponent just gained an advantage on you.

You can't waste all those reps.  You simply cannot.  If defense is completely disputing what you are doing you need to stop what you are doing.  Separate the problem, address it and change the drill for those that are not the problem so they keep working.   Nagy can put Mitch on a 3 sec clock and work against DBs.   You aren't wasting reps for everyone then.  

Every time there was a free runner in practice on Mitch that is a rep where he cannot work on his reads.  That is a wasted rep for WRs and so on down the line.  Those reps matter.  They matter a lot.   The O line was clearly a problem in practice and wasted so many offensive reps that we can never get back in 2019.  

Heistand and Dline coach should have separated their groups and worked on the issues until Heistand solved them and if Heistand can't solve them then Pace needs to get on the horn and sign some dif O linemen pronto or get an O line coach that can solve the problem.  Something.  They pretended like it wasn't happening.  Madness. 

Instead what happened?  Nothing.  Nagy put his head down in disgust and frustration and called next play and Mack or someone came straight through again.  Again rep is completely disrupted.  Sometimes they let him throw, but it wasn't how play is supposed to be executed.  You don't diagram plays with free runners coming at your QB in <1 sec.  This happened again and again.

I have seen so many coaches make this mistake in practices.  The DC starts talking trash to OC and it becomes a whole thing or vis a versa.  The goal isn't to win practice and have your ego stroked, it is for team to get better.  Not saying you tell guys to go slower or not try, but like I said above you isolate disruptive problems and fix them.  It is actually a good thing, because that tells you there is a problem that needs to be fixed and can't be ignored because same thing is going to happen against another team that your team is doing to you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dll2000 said:

Nagy practices mostly via semi-live or live scrimmaging with thud tackling.  That is good sometimes and bad sometimes as a coach.  I think you absolutely need to do that, but you shouldn't do it nearly as much as Nagy does.   In my experience it is really bad idea when one side of ball is a lot better than the other or one side of ball is really beat up which amounts to same thing in practice.  Mostly it is bad early because defense is mostly always ahead of offense early since offense requires so much precision in execution.       

Insightful post.

Just wondering where you got the info that Nagy has his practices follow in this fashion for the most part?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, AZBearsFan said:

He is a risk. BUT, Nagy and probably even more so Pace NEED to win in 2020 IMO. Pace has 1 postseason appearance and 0 wins in 6 years and botched the QB pick (even though Mitch isn’t as dead to me as he is many of you). Most other franchises would have fired him already. A secure GM would be looking to add draft capital with an eye toward potentially needing to move up to get a QB of choice in the 2021 draft. I can’t imagine that Pace has that luxury right now. He certainly shouldn’t. 

Also, if Hunter Henry is my guy I’m also drafting a TE, both because of the injury risk and because Burton would almost certainly be gone after 2020 in that scenario anyway. 

Yup...like I said I wouldn't mind Henry one bit.  He is very talented and what this offense needs.  I just wonder if that's what is in the back of Pace's mind.  That's a heck of a lot of money tied up to that position, even if for 1-year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, topwop1 said:

Insightful post.

Just wondering where you got the info that Nagy has his practices follow in this fashion for the most part?

I watched video tape of practices and I went to a full one myself.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, topwop1 said:

Yup...like I said I wouldn't mind Henry one bit.  He is very talented and what this offense needs.  I just wonder if that's what is in the back of Pace's mind.  That's a heck of a lot of money tied up to that position, even if for 1-year.

With the QB group being so cheap that is fine. As long as he doesn't make it a habit to grossly overpay on one group.

 

If we had 2018 Burton then that would be a hell of a combination for defenses to deal with.

 

ARob - Burton  - Henry - Miller

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, topwop1 said:

Yup...like I said I wouldn't mind Henry one bit.  He is very talented and what this offense needs.  I just wonder if that's what is in the back of Pace's mind.  That's a heck of a lot of money tied up to that position, even if for 1-year.

I think the medical histories of Burton and Sheehan will make Pace balk at Henry.   I think you will see a unsexy boring pickup at TE, and use one of the second round picks  for another TE.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, topwop1 said:

Insightful post.

Just wondering where you got the info that Nagy has his practices follow in this fashion for the most part?

As far as how I know about practices.  I coached different ages of little league 10 years to 14 years olds for a long time - on and off for like 20 years with a handful of years off.   I studied coaching (books, articles, videos, and spoke to a lot of successful coaches) and went to a lot clinics during those years.  A lot of them are free for little league coaches.  So even if its stuff you can't use, you can still go and learn pro or college schemes.   There are coaching forums like this one, but just for coaching.   

Also, amazing how even relatively famous coaches will speak to stranger nobody about coaching if you just call them and they have the time.  You can get their information at these clinics.   Probably not true in most other industries.  They will tell you all their secrets.  They love it.  They will talk to you for hours on end.  They will even meet with you and white board stuff.

I forgot a lot of stuff I learned, but I remember a lot of stuff too.  

Actually really cool if you are into it and I was.  Football coaching is incredibly time consuming though and hard on your family.  If you aren't getting paid, it can interfere with your life and career.

I might be a millionaire by now if I never coached.   

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great observations @dll2000. You make some good points here and this may very well have been part of the problem. 

One thing I will say is that I've personally always been of the belief that one strong unit (defense in our case) should make the opposite unit (the offense) stronger. But, as you said in other words when one unit is struggling so much and it gets to a point where it's demoralizing a player(s), then it's time to find a way to scale back the opposite a bit --i.e strictly run the defense out the base formation or something similar.

I just hope with all of the new staff members being brought in, and the amount of time they have, that Nagy can get everyone on the page before rookie camps and OTA's begin.

4 hours ago, GBHalas said:

I think the medical histories of Burton and Sheehan will make Pace balk at Henry.   I think you will see a unsexy boring pickup at TE, and use one of the second round picks  for another TE.  

Yeah, this is what I'm thinking too. If Pace does go after any top tier TE I don't see Henry being one of them for this very same reason....at least I would like to think that he learns from his mistakes anyhow.

A couple of interesting quotes here.

His background

Quote

 

When Hofher moved on to coach the University of Buffalo in 1997, Lazor remained at Cornell under new head coach Pete Mangurian. But in 2001 Hofher hired Lazor again – this time as youngest offensive coordinator in Division I at 29-years-old.

While Lazor was calling plays in Amherst, New York, Mangurian was recommending him to Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Reeves to fill an offensive quality control position. That job pulled Lazor to the NFL in 2003 and he immediately impressed.

“He was just a bright a guy as I’ve ever been around offensively,” Reeves said.

Another coach on that staff, Rennie Simmons, then recommended Lazor to Joe Gibbs. Off to Washington from 2004-07. Then, he joined Mike Holmgren and Seattle from 2008-09. Then off to the University of Virginia from 2010-12. Chip Kelly pulled Lazor back to the NFL in 2013 to coach the quarterbacks in Philadelphia.

“His experiences are rare,” Gibbs said. “Somebody that’s totally committed to his profession, willing to move to all the different places he’s been and take his family.”

Such experience and flexibility led Lazor to Miami head coach Joe Philbin, who was looking for a new offensive coordinator for the Dolphins in 2014.

“Adaptability, flexibility, he had creativity. He definitely possesses a lot of those characteristics,” Philbin said. “He had been exposed to a lot.”

It would be Lazor’s first shot at play-calling in the NFL, and it was impressive in the context of the career-best seasons of quarterback Ryan Tanenehill, running back Lamar Miller and wide receiver Jarvis Landry.

“It was fun to really watch him work and how aggressive he was as play caller and see it all come together for him,” said Zac Taylor, the former University of Cincinnati offensive coordinator who was Lazor’s quarterbacks coach in Miami.

“He’s able to adapt to what you have on offense. I think that’s kind of where his creativity comes to light.”

 

A great explanation here on what a system is and what it takes to get it to operate a functional offense. 

Quote

“Some of the greatest influences aren’t going to be the plays or formations,” Lazor said. “It’s going to be more the overall framework, the mindset. That’s a system of offense. A system is how you communicate. Is how you teach it. How you install it. How you get the quarterback and receivers on exactly the same page for what adjustments need to be made. It’s how the center makes the calls. That’s what a system is.”

 

Edited by JustAnotherFan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/15/2020 at 1:43 AM, JustAnotherFan said:

I don't wanna turn this thread into the same blame game type of "Is it Nagy or the personnel" discussion that we have seen happening among fans over the past 6 months, but I feel like it's inevitable to happen here with this kind of discussion, which I don't to happen, but this is a good time to preface everything that I have to say. 

To get it out the way, my opinion is that it's not just anyone person's fault whenever an offense is as bad it was this year for us. Its EVERYONE's fault. It's Nagy's fault, it's Mitch's fault, it's the RB's fault, its the WR's dopping passes fault, it's the OL fault.....nobody is immune to criticism here.  That said......

I agree. The lack of talent at the TE position was part of the problem and needs to fixed asap, wholeheartedly.

This is how I see it, personally, IMO.

In Nagy's defense, going into the 2019 season I knew we were a bit short-handed but I was comfortable with it. Like many, I thought Burton would get even better. Shaheen was finally healthy and could bring something to the table if he could stay healthy. Braunecker looked like he had a lot of potential last year, IMO.

And this may have been how Nagy looked at it as well and designed the offensive plays around this it. But when none of these things happen as he envisioned them and then the injuries started to appear, he was sort of left with trying to make his RPO's work with players who were not in his original plan and so he had to improvise.

I can fully understand all of that. 

However, it Nagy's responsibility as the Head Coach to make adjustments when unforeseen things happen such as injuries and players underachieving and he never did that. Those 44 RPO's didn't just come early in the season before any of the aforementioned things happened and he decided he didn't have the right personell anymore to execute his gameplans. They never changed (albeit, weeks 14-17 they did change when he started lining Mitch up under center a but more and utilizing the PA since Montegomery was gaining traction).

Plus, I don't think the injuries and lack of progression from the TE's would've matter too much anyhow seeing as how they were used earlier in the season anyhow.  Earlier in the season, Nagy used a 5'8 Cohen like a TE far too often than he should have, even when Burton was Healthy. He ran RPOs with Davis and Shaheen out of the an 11 personnel--which is just asking for trouble. 

I don't remember one either tbh. The closest ones I can remember is when Cohen fumbled a similar play against the Packers out of the 32 and Petterson taking a couple of pitch-like passes in motion.

The lack of creativity I do put a lot of that on the lack of execution from the players more than I do from Nagy, imo. I also think it limited him more even more when he started to dumb down the offense more around week 4-5?.

I've already given my reasons as to why I don't think it will happen in another thread. BUT, I would love it if it does, for two reasons.

1) You know the old saying "a TE is a young QB's best friend". Landing a Kittle type TE will help Nagy, Mitch, and the run game tremendously.

2) If the offense does fail and everyone gets fired and we start over with another rookie QB then....." you know the old saying "a TE is a young QB's best friend". 

I remember Kittle made what's his name (can't think of it) look a legit QB last year in his first NFL start.

 

I’m operating under the assumption that Mitch is going to at least get a shot to keep his job starting next season. With that, the best way to help a young/limited QB is to give him as many easy reads as you can. I want him to fully read the defense and see the whole field but if he can’t then he can’t. There are successful QBs in the NFL who have similar limitations, but they get that way because they are set up for success by the surrounding talent and scheme. Burton isn’t on Henry’s level talent wise but when healthy he’s a legitimate target and, most importantly, Mitch trusted him. I don’t want to put the burden on a 2nd round rookie to pick up that slack if Burton isn’t healthy by the beginning of the season (apparently a real possibility) - that’s not setting Mitch (or any other QB) up for success at all and we saw how it went with 2nd or 3rd rate TE options this year. It was a disaster. Bringing in another legit TE in FA also allows them to not have to rush Burton back like they did this year which makes his eventual contribution that much more likely to be valuable. I’m drafting a TE either way, but I see Pace looking at 2020 as must win and because of that I expect him to attack the skill position deficiencies aggressively. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AZBearsFan said:

I’m operating under the assumption that Mitch is going to at least get a shot to keep his job starting next season. With that, the best way to help a young/limited QB is to give him as many easy reads as you can. I want him to fully read the defense and see the whole field but if he can’t then he can’t. There are successful QBs in the NFL who have similar limitations, but they get that way because they are set up for success by the surrounding talent and scheme. Burton isn’t on Henry’s level talent wise but when healthy he’s a legitimate target and, most importantly, Mitch trusted him. I don’t want to put the burden on a 2nd round rookie to pick up that slack if Burton isn’t healthy by the beginning of the season (apparently a real possibility) - that’s not setting Mitch (or any other QB) up for success at all and we saw how it went with 2nd or 3rd rate TE options this year. It was a disaster. Bringing in another legit TE in FA also allows them to not have to rush Burton back like they did this year which makes his eventual contribution that much more likely to be valuable. I’m drafting a TE either way, but I see Pace looking at 2020 as must win and because of that I expect him to attack the skill position deficiencies aggressively. 

Could you envision Pace double dipping at TE in round 2? Cole Kmet and Brycen Hopkins, for example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw this quote from Bill Walsh on Twitter:

Quote

 

More Bill Walsh: "Now most people at any level will prefer to run the ball. We prefer to run the ball *successfully*. We prefer *not* to run the ball if we're not successful..."

 

 

 

When fans or media say run the ball more it is really frustrating without context.  

I think most coaches will run the ball if they are gaining yards doing it.  Some just like to pass, true.  But if you can't run the ball, then most coaches will go away from it.

People say to you, "Well you have to stick with it!" 

Should you run the ball regardless of the box look?  Just to run the ball?  How many possessions are you going to give up sticking with it unsuccessfully?

 When does giving ball back to other team become counter productive and detrimental?  Especially 3 and outs.  3 and outs wear down your defense like nobody's business and given enough possessions any opponent will score points.  

Point is no matter what run Nagy called in 2019, the run game mostly sucked.  IZ, Power, OZ, Read Option, Option, Power I - Nagy literally did every one of these and nothing worked with any consistency because ... drum roll:

1) We couldn't block

2) We couldn't pass well enough to loosen the box.

I blame Nagy for lack of execution (blown assignments, poor QB reads and poor technique) and starting personnel decisions (starting O line and TEs and guys expected to make types of blocks they were incapable of making).  That is a lot on him as HC and a lot on players and other coaches.  

I think him as super awful play caller is over blown.  Nothing was working.  He was flailing.  That would happen to any one calling plays.    

 

 

Edited by dll2000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely agree with the above. Several media members have asked what identity the Bears were striving for on offense. It’s tough to have an identity when you can’t block well enough to run successfully and your QB struggles to execute simple passing plays.

A lot of people think Nagy likes the gimmicky stuff. I think he leans on that because the offense can’t move the ball when they try to play conventionally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×