Monday Dolphins: Zac Taylor and Dan Campbell address Lazor's firing, new offensive philosophy, other issues
Quick highlights from Dan Campbell's Monday news conference moments ago:
### On why he fired offensive coordinator Bill Lazor with five games left in the season: "I made a difficult decision this morning, relieved Bill Lazor of his duties. I appreciate everything Bill put into this and all the hard work and dedication he gave to this organization and this offense. I just felt it was time to move in another direction.
"I looked at everything on the plane ride home. I got a couple hours sleep. I wanted to make sure I was making the best decision I could. I feel offensively, we've been anemic for five weeks. We've tried to do a number of different things and it didn't work out. I wouldn't make this move for a spark. I make it because it gives us the best opportunity to win.
"I want to see production. I want to see points. I don't care how he get that done.... We want to get our best playmakers in the position to make plays."
### Campbell said the decision to fire Lazor was his, but Campbell said he did speak to Mike Tannenbaum and Stephen Ross.
### Campbell: "We have to find a way to become a more physical offense. We need more of a physical presence. How ever we establish that, that's what I'm looking for. I don't think we scare anybody in the AFC East and that bothers me. We need to find a way, even if it is two yards and a cloud of dust. If it brings a little thump and a little attitude, it may be worth it."
### Was it clash of philosophies, considering Lazor didn't run the ball as much as Campbell wanted?
"We knew it would be hard to run the ball yesterday. So I'm not putting us in a box and saying, 'This is what we're going to be more of.'
It's about: How do we move the ball? How do we become efficient and put points on the board, particularly early? We have to get off to a faster start on offense.... I am a more run-oriented person. I want to be more balanced. I like a more balanced approach."
### Campbell suggested he wants to use Tannehill more on rollouts.
### Why have Zac Taylor become the play-caller, considering he's never done it, instead of Al Saunders?
"Lou [Anarumo] hadn't called a game either and he's done a pretty good job," Campbell said. "I've been around Zac for four years, and he's a very bright guy. He's been in quarterback room for four years.
"He understands the protections, he understands the run game and he certainly understands the pass game. I have a lot of faith in Zac. We're all going to have input. I will have input. We will all come up with the best plan we can for Baltimore."
### He said Mike Pouncey is "day to day" with a foot injury. "It's better than I thought it would be.... Rishard Matthews took a shot in the ribs; it looks less likely he would be up [Sunday]. Rishard went into the game with the flu and came out with cracked ribs. He wanted to go back in. He's a tough kid.
"CJ Mosley and Earl Mitchell both have calf injuries. They're both day to day." Mosley was in a walking boot today. Mitchell was not.
### On what he wants from his players: "I am looking for the guys, when you put another human being in front of him, and I don't care what it is -- if it's ping pong, if it's football, if it's croquet, if it's freakin' chess, you want to win and you'll do whatever you have to do to win. I'm looking for those guys. I still believe we have enough in this locker-room to win football games."
### He said he's contemplating lineup changes but wouldn't elaborate.
### More on Pouncey: "We are going to need another center in the building. Jamil Douglas has gotten a ton of practice snaps; you don't know how until the bullets fly. He's going to be better for that."
Douglas told me he had played only three snaps at center in a game in his life --- in an October game against Houston. He said his problems snapping the ball Sunday surprised him and that it hadn't happened at practice.
Campbell said Tannehill might play more under center, instead of the shotgun, if Pouncey is sidelined Sunday.
### On DeVante Parker, who got 58 snaps Sunday, by far his most of the season: "He got christened. He was shaky at first. He did some things late in the game, got a little bit better. Did a heck of a job on the touchdown. His technique has to be spot on. This isn't Louisville any more. The best experience is game experience. He's going to be better for it moving forward."
Highlights from Zac Taylor's news conference:
### "I have not called plays before. I have called 1000 games in my head. I have absolutely prepared [for this]. There is no substitute for experience. But I have all the confidence with the staff around me."
### On his philosophy: "We are going to run the ball. OK? I can't sit here and say we're going to run 10 straight times. It's important our players have that mindset. It's important for any offense to get that thing going.
"We are going to streamline what we do on offense; we're going to simplify it. It's on them as players and coaches to get this thing straight and start scoring some points... We need to be balanced. As long as we achieve balance, the points will come."
### Will Ryan Tannehill be given more freedom to audible? "Those are things we're still discussing.... Everything is on the table."
### Has Tannehill been hamstrung? "We've always put a lot on his plate. I don't think in any way he has been hamstrung. He's a smart guy. He can handle anything.... We've always had a great relationship. It's important for him to have plays where he can be accurate."
### "We have to find ways for our players to play with confidence.... We're going to evaluate everything we do... .[But] we believe in this system, what we've been doing. We just have to find ways to be more effective. There may be some different things we throw around as a staff, but to say we're going to abandon what we've been doing, we all believe in this. We've had success in this system... I trust we're all going to be on the same page."
### Taylor said he will seek advice from former Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, his father-in-law: "He has been a huge influence in my life, in many ways. I learned a lot of football from him. I talk to him almost weekly."
### On this turn of events: "This is not ideal. This is not how I dreamed up the situation happening. Bill Lazor was awesome to me. He took the fall for us. I feel awful for Bill. I saw the guy put his heart and soul [into this]."