- The Washington Times - Friday, January 29, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. | In four seasons living in northern Virginia and working as an offensive assistant with the Washington Redskins, Bill Lazor developed an affinity for Virginia football, and a pretty lofty image in his mind of the Cavaliers’ possibilities.

Now, he’ll be critical to helping them get there.

Lazor, hired Thursday as coach Mike London’s offensive coordinator, said he formed the images while visiting Charlottesville with friends who were on the Cavaliers coaching staff.

“I have a certain picture in my mind of this school and of what this football program should be and so, to have the opportunity to come here, I thought, was just fantastic because I really believe that the University of Virginia should be an excellent football program and should win football games,” Lazor said on a teleconference with reporters Friday.

Lazor said the offensive scheme, incorporating London’s desires along with what he’s learned in nine seasons as a college coach and the last seven with some offensive gurus in the NFL, will most likely look “pro-style, with an empasis on being explosive and physical.

“There are a lot of different ways to do it, but in football, you’ve got to find ways to score, and being explosive is part of that,” he said. “And it’s also very important to be physical. It doesn’t matter how many times you decide to run the ball in a game. When you do, you had better be physical and you better be able to come off the ball.”

The offensive coordinator at Buffalo when the team was completing its transition to Division I competition, Lazor left seven years ago to become a quality control coach under Dan Reeves with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. He also worked four seasons under Joe Gibbs with the Washington Redskins, and the last two with Mike Holmgren and Jim Mora Jr. in Seattle.

He expects his time in the NFL to make him a better play-caller.

“The way I look at it is it’s something I enjoy doing and thought I was good at when I did it, and I can’t imagine having a better seven years of study behind people who do it very, very well,” he said. “I’ll be very disappointed in myself if I don’t bring as many of those lessons I’ve learned from some of the greatest minds in football with me.”

Lazor is the eighth assistant coach hired by London since he took the job on Dec. 7, and the only one on the offensive side of the ball whose role has already been defined.

He said he’s eager to immerse himself back into areas unique to college football like recruiting, and to begin studying the players already on campus before spring practice.

Recruiting, he said, is just the start of an often rewarding process.

“It isn’t always fun if you have to stop at a fast food drive through for a couple meals in a row, but it’s fun when you get to the point where you’re sitting with young men and their families and you’re trying to figure out really what makes them tick and what’s important in their lives,” he said. “And it’s especially fun when they come to school and you get a chance to watch them grow over their time there and what they become on the other end.”

He said he arrived on campus Monday and hasn’t had a chance to meet many of the players, but expects the real getting-to-know-you period will come when they get back on the field.

He’ll learn the most, he said, when “I get to see the effort that they play with, when I get to see what their face looks like when a coach talks to them and gives them instruction, and how quick they are able to pick up on it. To me, that’s the real exciting part of going to a new job, because the players are the key to what we’re going to be.”

The Cavaliers begin spring practice March 15.



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