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Unknown Assistant Holds Key to Season

Unknown Assistant Holds Key to Season

The Redskins’ coaching staff has a pile of resumes that would make jealous. At the top, of course, is the only active Hall of Fame performer in major professional sports, Joe Gibbs. Reporting to him are two former head coaches, and a total of six who have held a coordinator position. Thirteen of them have 10 years or more of NFL experience.

Hidden among all of the heavy hitters with offices in Ashburn is a coach who has never sniffed a head coaching job at any level. Bill Lazor’s NFL coaching experience totals just three years. The “Buffalo” entry on his resume is not the Bills, but the Bulls, as in the University of Buffalo where his title was Offensive Coordinator--Quarterbacks. Prior to that he coached at Cornell, his alma mater and not even a powerhouse in the Ivy League. Gibbs hired him when he came back as a quality control coach. That’s the same title that Gibbs’ son Coy, who got ready for NFL coaching by driving in the NASCAR Busch series, holds. Here is how explained his contributions to the team in 2005:
Lazor worked closely with Musgrave last season. In the hours before a game, Lazor typically helps out in terms of getting Redskins quarterbacks and wide receivers warmed up.
That means that he tossed passes to Santana Moss and Chris Cooley before the games, hardly a duty that he was uniquely qualified to do. But Lazor, the coach with one of the smallest piles of laurels, has the biggest, most important job of all the coaches this offseason.

When quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave left to tutor Michael Vick in Atlanta, Lazor was elevated from offensive assistant—that was his entire title, just offensive assistant—to QB coach. He may have gotten a case of the bends from such a swift elevation to such heights.

Certainly nobody reading this needs a primer on the importance of quarterback play when it comes to success for an NFL team. While it doesn’t have to be great (although that helps) it at least has to be highly competent if a team has high aspirations. And the Redskins have their sights set on huge, let’s say super, success in 2006.

Lazor’s primary task will be to run a finishing school for Jason Campbell. After watching how Mark Brunell wore down towards the end of the 2005 season it seems that if the Redskins are going to make it all the way, Campbell will have to be a major contributor somewhere along the way. Besides Campbell himself, the person primarily responsible for ensuring that he is ready to make that contribution will be George Lazor.

Lazor will get some help. Al Saunders will be spending some quality time with Campbell and it’s been speculated that now that Gibbs has given up some of his responsibilities on offense, he will spend some time tutoring Campbell. Make no mistake about it, though; Campbell’s development will be on Lazor. He will be the one spending countless hours reviewing film with Campbell, showing him the finer points of proper form and technique, drilling him on how to read the blitz and when to take a sack.

It’s highly doubtful that Lazor’s salary is one of those that small-market owners and Paul Tagliabue are complaining about when they point to what they perceive to be the runaway spending on coaches that Dan Snyder and the Redskins are engaging in. However, if the seven-figure salaries being pulled down by Williams and Saunders are going to prove to be money well spent by Snyder Lazor, one of those at the bottom end of the big-money pyramid, and Campbell will have to come through.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book chronicles every game the Redskins played from 1937 through 2001. It is available at

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Senior Bowl Preview: All eyes on the quarterbacks as Redskins must consider options

Senior Bowl Preview: All eyes on the quarterbacks as Redskins must consider options

MOBILE — Kirk Cousins remains the best option to be the Redskins quarterback of the future, but that future isn't very secure. For the past two seasons, Washington has been unable to get a long-term deal done with Cousins and optimism is low heading into the 2018 negotiating period. 

At this point, after consecutive franchise tags, it might be time for the Redskins to look at options beyond Cousins. Colt McCoy is under contract for 2018, and head coach Jay Gruden has repeatedly voiced confidence in the famed Texas product. 

Big picture, however, the Redskins need to find their QB for 2018, and beyond. Perhaps that will be Cousins, but it's time for serious due diligence. 

That means the Washington contingent heading to Mobile, Alabama, this week for the Senior Bowl needs to be watching the quarterbacks. And there's a lot to watch. 

Senior Bowl rosters are loaded with future NFL talent at all different positions. NBC Sports will have much more on that later in the week, but to kick things off, start with the passers. 


  • 1) Baker Mayfield - Nobody will have a brighter light on them in Mobile than Mayfield. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner made big splashes on the field for Oklahoma, posting video game numbers. He threw for more than 4,600 yards in 14 games to go with 43 touchdowns against only six interceptions. He completed a crazy 70 percent of his throws, which is very high for a college passer. There was some off-field immaturity, and a February 2017 arrest, but those issues aren't expected to cause him to slide in the draft. A number of draft experts predict Washington drafting Mayfield with the 13th overall pick, but there will be plenty of teams ahead of the Redskins that need a passer. Mobile will give the Redskins brass a chance to meet and learn who Mayfield is off the field, and that will be vitally important, along with figuring out if there are reasons to be concerned about his height on the pro football level. 
  • 2)  Josh Allen - Big arm and traditional pocket passer, Allen will ace the eyeball test from talent evaluators. His 2017 numbers from Wyoming will not, however, and he will need a strong showing at pre-draft workouts. Mel Kiper suggested Allen could go as high as No. 1 overall, and at 6-foot-5, 230 lbs., there is clearly not a lack of physical talent. In his last two seasons at Wyoming, Allen threw for more than 5,000 yards along with 44 TDs against 21 INTs. Don't try too hard to compare Mayfield and Allen's stats, as comparing the talent and situations at Oklahoma and Wyoming are wildy different. Many NFL scouts love Allen, but some worry about his accuracy. In college, he completed just 56 percent of his passes. He may be a boom or bust type pick, but after the success of Carson Wentz coming out of North Dakota State, teams will be more willing to roll the dice on the Wyoming Cowboy in Allen. 
  • 3) Mason Rudolph - Upstaged by Mayfield's success at Oklahoma, Rudolph put together a terrific season of his own at Oklahoma State. A prolific passer for three seasons in Stillwater, as a senior, Rudolph tossed 37 TDs against nine interceptions along with nearly 5,000 passing yards. At 6-foot-5, Rudolph faces no questions about NFL size, and he certainly has a strong enough arm to play in the pros. Rudolph won't be practicing at the Senior Bowl but is expected to interview with NFL teams. Redskins coach Jay Gruden has said before the interviews are arguably the most important part of the pre-draft process, and this could be a big meeting. Rudolph isn't expected to go quite as high as Allen or Mayfield, and could even be drafted in the back half of the first round. 

There will be other quarterbacks playing in Mobile, including Washington State's Luke Falk, Nebraska's Tanner Lee, Virginia's Kurt Benkert, Troy's Brandon Silvers, Western Kentucky's Mike White and Kyle Lauletta of the University of Richmond. There is some intrigue surrounding Lauletta and White, especially as small school QBs continue to thrive in the NFL and both passers have NFL size and play best from the pocket. Not for nothing, Bruce Allen played football at Richmond too. 

It's a little weird that both Allen and Mayfield are on the same team, splitting reps in practice and snaps in the game. Then again Allen might not even play, so it could be irrelevant. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the week for updates from the Senior Bowl. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!


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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

Eagles fans are known for a lot of things, most tend to not be very positive.

Sunday, the internet made sure to help us all keep track of what was going on in Philly, before, during, and after the Eagles and Vikings played for the NFC Championship.

Let's take a look at how things progressed in the City of Brotherly Love.

In what has become the iconic symbol of Sunday's "celebrations", this poor fellow, according to TMZ, Andrew Tornetta, refused to comply with orders to disperse by police in the parking lot before the game.

Instead, according to the report, Tornetta punched a police horse twice in the right shoulder and then hit the human officer in the face, which is always a terrible decision.

Oh, and it's the second time in two weeks a police horse took a fist from a human in Philly. 

Fans also welcomed anyone wearing Vikings colors with class and, well, brotherly love.

Also before the game, the city decided to be proactive, and keep fans from climbing light poles if the Eagles won.

Of course, we knew what wouldn't stop them.

Sure enough, some fans were up to the Crisco Pole Challenge.

Others though, didn't need grease to have issues with a pole.

Some decided to create a new dance, which we're sure will catch on any day now.

There was also the classic dance-on-a-car move.

Oh, and let's not forget them letting the Vikings know they played a great game. 

Forget the Patriots and Eagles playing eachother in the Super Bowl.

The real matchup, is Patriots fans and Eagles fans.

May the best fanbase win.