Chicago Bears: Will offensive coordinator Bill Lazor be on the hot seat right away?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Offensive coordinators rarely survive with the same team for long. As it relates to Bill Lazor and the Chicago Bears, should we be concerned immediately?

Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has 26 years’ worth of professional coaching experience. But it’s difficult to feel confident about that when you consider these two statistics: of the NFL’s 30 offensive coordinators, a whopping 29 of them weren’t even with their current team in 2018. And, Chicago will be introducing its seventh such coordinator over the last ten years.

I stumbled upon this out of competitiveness, attempting to memorize every one of the NFL’s coordinators, but the limited shelf life on these assistants feels like something to take note of.

Lazor’s legacy feels temperate at best; in 14 seasons, the teams he’s been associated with are a mere 85-116 and have four Playoff games in their back pocket. And while there’s a lot to love about the work he’s done with Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles, Michael Vick and Andy Dalton, and his red-zone success, he doesn’t by any means appear untouchable.

From my perspective, the big question becomes: what is the threshold? How much does Lazor have to improve this offense in order to prevent the organization from signing an eighth offensive coordinator in 11 years? You had to get really creative in finding statistics that the Chicago Bears’ offense didn’t rank among the bottom-five in. If he assists in jumping them from “terrible” to “below average,” does that buy him the lifeline?

It would be easier to be optimistic about this if say, the Bears were allowing Lazor to call plays and have more control over his own destiny. But it appears as though his role will be similar to that of Mark Helfrich. Per Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune, those expectations will include:

— Helping to “revamp” the playbook for Nagy to call
— Helping decide the quarterback battle alongside John DeFillippo and Dave Ragone

2013 Dolphins without Lazor — No. 26 ranked offense
2014 and 2015 Dolphins with Lazor — No. 11 and No. 27 ranked offense

2016 Bengals without Lazor — No. 24 ranked offense
2017 and 2018 Bengals without Lazor — No. 26 ranked offense and No. 17 ranked offense

The rushing attacks he’s been a part of are certainly something to be excited about, especially if you’re David Montgomery.

So, there’s some hardcore evidence that when given freedom, Lazor can turn dollar menu offenses like Chicago’s into something more appetizing. But to say he’s got a mountainous challenge ahead of him feels like an understatement.

This year’s wrinkle will be like nothing we’ve really ever seen. In what will be the first preseason shortening since 1978, the Chicago Bears’ brass will only have two games worth of evaluation on that aforementioned Foles-Trubisky matchup. And, with camps and OTAs being canceled, Chicago’s higher-ups will have to get creative about ironing out those offensive kinks.

Next. 2020 Roster Rankings: 46 to 50. dark

History tells us that both the Chicago Bears and Lazor aren’t accustomed to keeping the same signal-callers around long. One has to go all the way back to 2007 to find the last time Lazor was employed by the same team for more than three years (the Washington Redskins). And the Chicago Bears haven’t ridden it out that long with one guy since Ron Turner in 2009.

Perhaps Jerry Glanville was onto something when he told that referee that the NFL stands for “Not For Long.” It could be the law of the land, but it’s difficult to be intrigued about that.