Nick Foles is heading to the Pro Bowl. Chip Kelly is taking a lot of the credit. Bill Lazor is—perhaps soon to be was—the man behind the scenes
As an assistant, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach largely flew under the radar while Foles was becoming the highest-rated passer in the NFL. It sounds like folks around the league took notice of Lazor’s work though, as he’ll reportedly be hired as the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions after one season on Chip’s staff.
Ed Werder broke the story on ESPN on Tuesday afternoon. The news comes within hours after the Lions are said to have settled on Jim Caldwell as their next head coach, though as Les Bowen points out, the team has not confirmed.
Lazor was one of the few assistants on Kelly’s staff who had pro experience prior to this season, having served in various assistant roles in Buffalo, Washington and Seattle. Most recently, he had been the offensive coordinator at the University of Virginia for three seasons.
It’s a shame if the Eagles are going to lose him, as he was no doubt influential in Foles’ breakout season. You can only hope a change doesn’t stunt the 25-year-old’s development at all in year three, though I suspect he’ll be fine.
Position Title: Intern
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours
Deadline: November 20
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NEW ORLEANS — Joel Embiid is trying to kick back tightness he has been dealing with since Thursday.
Embiid was a late scratch for the Sixers in Sunday's 131-124 loss to the Pelicans (see observations). He said he began to experience the tightness while playing Thursday against the Lakers. Embiid received treatment during the game but felt "pretty sore" after.
The big man already was slated to miss one of the two back-to-backs in Cleveland and New Orleans because of his medical restriction. He sat Saturday, but when he warmed up pregame Sunday, he still didn’t feel healthy enough to go.
“I tried to warm up earlier but I couldn't,” Embiid said. “If it was the Finals, I'm sure I could have gone. But we've got 82 games and they don't want me to push if I'm not a hundred percent, so that's what I did.”
The Sixers need Embiid (23.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks) back on the court. They have dropped to 13-13 on a four-game losing streak, including these last two without him. Embiid is an integral part of the Sixers’ defense, especially against a Pelicans team with DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis in the frontcourt. The two bigs combined for 52 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks.
Embiid said he expects to play in the Sixers' next game, Tuesday in Minnesota. Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns is posting 19.8 points, 11.6 boards and 1.3 blocks per game this season. Embiid still has to work out Monday before that his availability. In the meantime, he is receiving massage treatment.
“I just got to keep resting for a couple days and see how it feels day-by-day,” Embiid said. “But it's been getting better. It's a lot, much better.”
Embiid is the latest Sixers to be added to the list of injuries. Robert Covington suffered a lower back contusion Saturday and is doubtful for Tuesday (see story). T.J. McConnell continues to be hampered by a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder. He has missed five of his last six games. Markelle Fultz (right shoulder) and Justin Anderson (left leg) are weeks out from another reevaluation.