Inside The Numbers: Bill Lazor

Posted Feb 4, 2014

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles wasn’t the first time that a quarterback experienced significant improvement with Lazor as his position coach.

The first thing that jumps out about new Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor’s resume is the work he did last season with Nick Foles in his role as Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach. There’s good reason for that, but there are also plenty of other highlights in Lazor’s career, both as a player and as a coach.

We’ll start with the Foles angle because of how impressive it was, and also because it represents Lazor’s latest work. We know about Foles’ numbers, but the way to truly appreciate Lazor’s impact is to compare them to what Foles did in 2012 as a rookie.

Foles’ passer rating under Lazor increased an incredible 40 points, from 79.1 to 119.2 — the third-best single-season performance in NFL history behind the 122.5 put up by Aaron Rodgers in 2011 and the 121.1 from Peyton Manning in 2004. Foles’ completion percentage also jumped from 60.8 to 64.0. Finally, his TD-to-INT numbers went from 6-to-5 to an incredible 27-to-2.

This wasn’t the first time, however, that an NFL quarterback experienced significant improvement with Lazor as his position coach.

Lazor’s previous NFL coaching stop before last season came with the Seattle Seahawks in 2008-09. In his first season there, the Seahawks had to turn to Seneca Wallace after veteran Matt Hasselbeck was sidelined. Under Lazor’s tutelage, Wallace threw 11 touchdown passes against only three interceptions that season. That is by far the best TD/INT ratio of Wallace’s career, with his second-best showing being a 2:1 margin when he had four touchdowns and two picks in 2010 as a member of the Cleveland Browns.

Before his stint in Seattle, Lazor served as quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins, for whom he worked with veteran Mark Brunell in 2006. During that season, Brunell compiled a passer rating of 86.5, which happened to be his best in a season with at least four starts since his glory days with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the late 1990s.

This will be Lazor’s first NFL job as an offensive coordinator, but he held that position at two different schools, at the University of Buffalo in 2001-02 and the University of Virginia from 2010-12.

He wasted no time making an impact at Virginia after taking over an offense that ranked last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2009. A year after averaging a meager 269.6 yards per game, the Virginia offense pushed that total up to 404.8 in 2010, a figure that was good enough for third place in the ACC.

In his three seasons as Cavaliers offensive coordinator, Virginia never averaged less than 396.5 total yards per game. While Lazor working his magic with Foles in Philadelphia, the Cavaliers averaged 368.4 yards in 2013.

Lastly, we turn to Lazor’s playing days, a three-year career at quarterback at Cornell from 1991-93.

Lazor, selected as co-team MVP in 1993, left the school with 26 passing and total offense records. Among those:

Best career QB rating: 115.5
Most career passing yards: 5,697
Most career touchdown passes: 34
Most passes in a game without an interception: 59, 1992 at Columbia
Most passing yards in a game: 400, 1992 at Columbia
Most passing yards in a season: 2,206 in 1992
Most career 300-yard passing games: 3

One final note, one that isn’t likely to ever help him as a coach: In addition to his passing yardage and his 451 career rushing yards, Lazor also caught one pass at Cornell. It went for a 1-yard loss.

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