Saturday, January 14, 2023

Ex-Jets OC Mike LaFleur could land with Super Bowl winner HC: report

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When the New York Jets parted ways with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, head coach Robert Saleh recounted that the young play-caller had coaching opportunities elsewhere in the NFL community.

Jets fans didn’t believe it for a second, but a recent report adds some truth to Saleh’s statement. The coaching link came by NFL insider Albert Breerwho tweeted that “Sean McVay needs to work on the cast and one name to watch is a well known one – ex-Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.”

After his lack of success in New York, some Jets fans criticized Mike LaFleur, who rides on the coattails of two well-known NFL head coaches, his older brother Matt LaFleur and San Francisco 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan.

If you’ve had that opinion before, this review won’t change much for you in the future. Mike LaFleur never coached on the same team as Sean McVay, but the connection to the Los Angeles Rams would come again through Matt LaFleur. The two rising stars spent time together in Washington from 2010 to 2013 on the coaching staff of Mike Shanahan.

At the time, Matt LaFleur was the quarterbacks coach and McVay was the tight ends coach (assistant role in 2010 prior to promotion). Matt LaFleur later left when Jay Gruden took over as head coach, but because of McVay’s ties to John Gruden, he stayed on as Washington’s offensive coordinator.

Matt LaFleur reunited with McVay in Los Angeles as his first offensive coordinator after landing the position of Rams head coach. This partnership was an overwhelming success, as LAR earned first place on offense in 2017, but it also only lasted one season.

Matt LaFleur decided to take the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator role in a lateral move with more responsibility. From there, the rest is history for Green Bay Packers HC, who were discontinued just a year later in 2019.

As you can see, Mike LaFleur and McVay may not have worked together before, but there’s certainly a certain familiarity — as Breer alluded. Most coaching jobs come from previous relationships, so this is nothing new, but Mike LaFleur’s personal connections could land him his next NFL appearance.

A popular name in the Jets community for the offensive coordinator position was Greg Olson. The former OC made the best of quarterback Derek Carr at the Las Vegas Raiders, but he left town when Josh McDaniels took over.

Now he could be available again after a season with – ironically – McVay and the Rams.

After the LAR head coach announced he wouldn’t be retiring in 2023, the NFL network insider became known reported Ian Rapoport that “the Rams’ coaching staff should look different, in part because other teams became interested when they were hanging in limbo.” Adding, “DL coach Eric Henderson has generated some interest and is a potential DC senior offensive assistant Greg Olson.” is a potential OC, Raheem Morris has HC interviews.”

This, of course, caught the attention of Jets fans on Twitter. After all, Carr might be the best available Veteran QB option for Gang Green this offseason, and who better to pair him with than Olson?

Jet’s X Factors Michael Nania cut out Carr’s stats with Olson from 2018 through 2021. During that span, the Raiders’ signal caller threw an average of 4,252 yards and 23 touchdowns with 10 interceptions per year and a 97.3 passer rating.

In terms of total mileage, he ranked fourth in the NFL over that four-year period with 17,010 passing yards for Las Vegas. Needless to say, this would be a big upgrade for a Jets team that had a 75.0 average passer rating in 2022.

Hiring Olson would obviously make sense with general manager Joe Douglas targeting Carr based on his familiarity, just as hiring Mike LaFleur aligns with McVay’s current coaching needs in Los Angeles — but boy would it be weird for the two to be offensive Heads would end up swapping roles.

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