Shortly after Bill Lazor was hired as Bears offensive coordinator in January, I asked two of his former players about him while covering the Pro Bowl in Orlando.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and receiver Jarvis Landry both gave Lazor rave reviews after working with him when he was offensive coordinator with the Dolphins in 2014-15.
In his two seasons with Lazor, Landry caught 84 passes for 758 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie in 2014 and followed with 110 receptions for 1,157 yards and four TDs in 2015, earning the first of five straight trips to the Pro Bowl.
"He's great at getting playmakers the ball," said Landry, who's now with the Browns. "His whole philosophy is misdirection and getting guys the ball in space that know what to do with it. I had two [productive] years in that system."
In 2014, the Dolphins averaged 24.3 points and 350.1 yards per game, their most in both categories since 1995.
"He's very detailed, and that's something that goes a long way, especially being an offensive coordinator," Landry said. "He wants to make sure that every guy is in the right place at the right time for the quarterback. It's a quarterback-friendly system as well."
That was certainly the case in 2014 when Lazor helped Tannehill pass for 4,045 yards and a career-high 27 touchdowns, the most by a Dolphins quarterback since Hall of Famer Dan Marino had 30 in 1994.
"Bill did a great job," said Tannehill, who's now with the Titans. "I have a ton of respect for Bill and what he was able to do [during] my short time with Miami. He's extremely intelligent, thoughtful."
Other quarterbacks have thrived under Lazor as well. As Eagles quarterbacks coach in 2013, he helped current Bears starter Nick Foles have the best season of his career. Foles was voted to the Pro Bowl after throwing for 2,891 yards with 27 touchdowns, two interceptions and a league-leading 119.2 passer rating.
Lazor was quarterbacks coach with the Bengals in 2016 when Andy Dalton was named to his third Pro Bowl after passing for 4,206 yards, the second most in franchise history.
Asked how Lazor most benefits quarterbacks, Tannehill said: "He's very detailed in every aspect of the game. He's very involved with the footwork and the timing and the precision of things."
Lazor has also worked in the NFL as an offensive quality control coach with the Falcons (2003), offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach with Washington (2004-07) and quarterbacks coach with the Seahawks (2008-09).
During that span he was part of NFL staffs headed by Joe Gibbs, Mike Holmgren and Dan Reeves, who have combined to win six Super Bowls.