Second, Lazor coached seven seasons in the NFL with the
Third, Lazor and Virginia coach
So when CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman broke the news Tuesday morning that Lazor is joining former Oregon coach
Some will attribute his exit, since confirmed by sources, to the Cavaliers' hiring of former North Carolina State head coach Tom O'Brien as associate head coach for offense. They'll say O'Brien's presence undermined Lazor and that Lazor found that untenable.
Perhaps that's true. But I suspect that Lazor was NFL-bound as soon as possible, regardless of O'Brien.
Like many play-callers, Lazor had moments that ranged from inspired to baffling. Given that he never worked with a proven, top-shelf quarterback, he did well overall, though the Cavaliers' impressive yardage totals often didn't translate into points.
In 2011 for example, Virginia ranked 46th nationally in total offense, 86th in scoring. This past season, the Cavaliers were 62nd and 93rd in those categories.
Lazor was an off-the-radar choice to join London's staff in 2010, so forecasting the search for his successor borders on impossible.
Twitter speculation Tuesday centered immediately on O’Brien, who was Virginia’s offensive coordinator for six years under George Welsh before becoming
I doubt either is the choice.
Virginia hired O'Brien, essentially, to mentor London, to help with program and game management. Both men said as much at a news conference to introduce O'Brien and three other new staff members.
"I know what it's like to sit in the chair," O'Brien said. I" know the decision-making process, everything that goes into being a head coach. … I know the day-to-day-grind. If I can take some of that off of him, it will make us all better coaches."
London: "There's the understanding I am the head football coach of this team. But there's also the understanding with the experience that you surround yourself with and the people you surround yourself with, that there are opportunities to gain some insight into some things that otherwise you wouldn't have.
"Tom is the associate head coach, the assistant head coach, whatever you want to call it, in terms of helping me and my own development."
Can O'Brien serve that mentor role and coordinate the offense? I doubt it.
Bible, 59, worked under O’Brien for the past 14 years. But he’s also battled health issues — he was diagnosed with
Be the background NFL or college, bet on London and his boss, executive associate athletic director Jon Oliver, searching for an aggressive coordinator, the offensive version of new Cavaliers defensive boss Jon Tenuta.
Lazor's successor will inherit an offense that returns seven starters, including four linemen, but has no established quarterback — Rocco transferred to Richmond to play his senior season. Watford, Sims or acclaimed redshirt Greyson Lambert needs to earn the starter's role, and keep it, sparing Virginia the instability of the last two seasons.
Much of that process hinges on the coordinator.
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