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Bill Lazor to Seattle

Lazor holding a gigantic football.
That's what the Times is reporting. Here's what we know:
  • He played at Cornell, Alma Mater of my favorite author, Thomas Pynchon.
  • He has a Wikipedia page.
  • That page is 32 words long.
What anyone but his mother and God truly know about Lazor dignifies the length of his Wikipedia entry. He served for three seasons w/ the Washington Redskins in a largely ceremonial position before being elevated to quarterbacks coach in 2007. His job: Nothing short of developing the Skins' quarterback of the future, Jason Campbell. How'd he do? Good, it would seem. In 2006, Campbell completed just 53% of his 206 non-garbage time passes. In 2007, that number vaulted to 61% in 435 attempts. His DVOA and DPAR jumped, too. Campbell was 17th in the league in DPAR and 20th in DVOA. Impressive numbers for the recently 26 year old quarterback. A couple confounding factors exist, though. Campbell was considered a Pro Bowl level talent by David Lewin's projection system. Forcing the question: Was Campbell developed by Lazor, or was his improvement simply natural progression? Campbell was also severely outplayed by journeyman nonentity Todd Collins. Do we give Lazor credit for Collins' late season emergence, or offer Collins as as proof that Campbell was underperforming in a can't miss offense?

Regarding the former, I think whether Campbell was destined for success or not, a quarterback's coach deserves some credit for facilitating that growth. Whatever facilitating means. The later, I think two separate quarterbacks playing very well in an offense with some, but by no means an abundance of talent should be a credit to Lazor, Al Saunders and the Skins' entire offensive coaching staff.

Lazor is just 3 years older than Hasselbeck. A fact that makes for an interesting power dynamic. What we can know about this potential signing is minimal. Young blood is always exciting. Lazor is a disciple of the so called "Air Coryell" offense that was employed by the Gibbs era Skins and Jimmy Johnson era Cowboys. It's currently employed by Norv Turner. I hate Norv Turner's offense. Like the West Coast, its passing patterns are timing based, but unlike the West Coast with its emphasis on short and intermediate routes, the AC is built around deep routes. Matt Hasselbeck's deep ball kind of sucks. The AC also favors a power rushing attack, the same system employed by recently hired line coach Mike Solari.

Here's, I guess, what this all means. Tim Ruskell is creating the foundation of an Air Coryell offense. Matt Hasselbeck would not fit very well within said offense. Nor, for that matter, would Seneca Wallace or Charlie Frye. If Ruskell wants a power rushing attack/deep passing attack, he'd likely need to invest in a power rusher (like Chauncey Washington) and a big armed quarterback. Plus, a deep threat receiver. A legitimate tight end and a top run blocking guard. If not, we have a square peg/round hole situation in the works where the Hawks personnel doesn't match the offense's goals. It's too early to know how this'll all play out, but something kind of curious is in the works. Something a little scary, honestly. The Hawks are staring down considerable turnover in their offensive talent over the next few years, heaped atop an already sizable amount of turnover the past two seasons. Who they pick to replace it will tell us much about where this offense is going. The early indications are...interesting. I hope that Lazor, if he becomes the offensive coordinator, or whoever becomes the offensive coordinator, runs something less archaic then the Air Coryell. Maybe a modified West Coach with elements of the Air Coryell. A short, spread style offense, like is run in New England, seems to best fit the current climate of the NFL. Deemphasizing premiere receivers, but taking advantage of the recent liberalization of the passing game. A player like Wes Welker can excel in such an offense, but would be lost in an AC - in fact, he was. Working under Mike Mularkey in 2006, Welker wasn't nearly as productive as he was in New England. Ruskell has never been known for his offensive acumen, and the signing of Lazor (should he sign) coupled with the signing of Solari has me a little worried. Anyway, nothing to get too worked up about now, but something to track in the coming months.