Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has been a great addition to the coaching staff and in 2014, he helped the offensive players make great strides. One player who made a huge stride was quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and now in 2015, Lazor is hoping for even more improvement not only from him, but from everyone else as well.
“I think everything should be better. Everything should be clearer. I’m very happy with how his offseason went and the time that we got to spend with him. Ryan’s an extremely hard worker. He’s a very intelligent guy and he wants to do it right. I don’t know that you could script a better formula for a guy to be successful, and that’s how he’s approached it and I’m really proud of how far he’s gone in the offseason, and I think we were all waiting for this time of year now where you get to have a defense out there to throw against and really try to put yourself to the test, and that’s what he’s doing.”
One big reason for the expected improvement for Tannehill is because the Dolphins went out and got new receivers who are better suited for his strengths and the offensive system. Lazor talked about the new players and his expectations for them on a daily basis.
“Well let’s face it, when you hit ‘em, then people aren’t going to ask about it. I think the key thing is we walk in the room every single day together, not only committed to being the best that you can possibly be as a person, but also with the understanding (that) we’re all going to do it together, and no one’s going to be right all the time, and no one’s going to be the one that’s wrong all the time. We’ve got to figure it out together. As coaches, I mean that’s the attitude we want every player to walk in and have. Let’s face it, this time of year without pads on, a lot of it is about the passing game. That’s just the reality of the rules, so we’ve got to make the most of that. As coaches I’ve got to help provide structure and guidance with that, but I want them to work with us. Let’s face it, a guy like Greg Jennings walks in the room, who has had a ton of experience and a ton of success, I want his input. I want him to feel like he’s a part of it. Because I think as they help them discover with you how things work, then they’ll take ownership of it, and they’ll be even more excited to make sure it does work.”
Following the 2014 season, Lazor and his offensive staff looked at every area and noted their strengths and weaknesses. They then put a plan in place to improve on their weaknesses and make their strengths even stronger this coming season.
“It sounds like a cop-out to say everything but, we tried as coaches to look at every area. We haven’t presented every single thing to the players, but I think in this setting, in OTAs certainly the way the rules are, you can get a lot more done in the passing game than in the run game. We’ll install our whole run game, but you can’t drive block anybody. There are going to be certain times when it’s not quite real football yet, same thing in pass protection. I think the emphasis in OTAs typically tends to be on the passing game a little bit more. I expect our pass protection to improve. It’s not just the blocking. Certainly you don’t have pads on to hit, but from the quarterback handling it to the receivers helping with their hots and sights and backs picking things up, I expect that to take a jump forward. I think the most publicized thing about the Dolphins would be throwing the ball down the field and some days we’re going to and some days we’re going to try to move it throwing it short and running it, that works to.”
While it’s still very early in the process of preparing for the upcoming season, Lazor has noticed just how much energy and enthusiasm his players have thus far.
“I’m excited about the guys that are here. I was excited about the acquiring of every single one of them that is here. They walk in the building every day with enthusiasm, they walk on the field with energy. They did it when it was on air and they did it today. I’m absolutely certain we’ll be better tomorrow, and that’s all I can ask of them.”
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs