Sunday, January 15, 2023

Insider says Rams & McVay are “Expected to Land” ex-rival coordinators

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With Sean McVay back, one of the first goals after informing the Los Angeles Rams of his return on Friday, Jan. 13: Figuring out who will be on his staff for 2023. An insider has already revealed who could fill a gap, saying: “He’s likely to end up on McVay’s staff.”

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Saturday, Jan. 14 that Mike LaFleur — a former New York Jets offensive coordinator and once coached with the San Francisco 49ers against McVay from 2017-2020 — has been linked to McVay.

“There will be many changes in his staff” said Garafolo on NFL game day. “Possibly Mike LaFleur, who was fired by the Jets to pursue other opportunities, could be the opportunity for him. He is expected to end up on McVay’s staff.”

Garafolo has not indicated that LaFleur is a suspension for open offensive coordinator at “Rams House.” However, given the opening and his previous offensive background, LaFleur could have an opportunity to fill that role with the Rams.

“The Jets have allowed Mike LaFleur as OC to explore other avenues and moving to the Rams in the same role is the most significant among the potential opportunities he could soon pursue.” Garafolo posted on social media.

Garafolo wasn’t the only insider linking LaFleur to the Rams. Two other league insiders mentioned the 36-year-old as a possibility for the Rams.

“Sean McVay has to work on staffing, and one name to keep an eye on is a well-known — ex-Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur,” he said Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated on Friday.

Rams insider for The Athletic Jourdan Rodrigue was another who believes LaFleur is “a name to watch out for in external candidates.”

McVay will need a new offensive coordinator for the fourth time in his head coaching career. Liam Coen returned to the University of Kentucky before McVay announced his intentions to return. McVay previously lost Kevin O’Connell and Matt LaFleur to NFL head coaching jobs with the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers, respectively.

And speaking of the latter ex-McVay coordinator, Mike LaFleur is the younger brother – which could give McVay his second from the LaFleur tree to work with.

LaFleur, 36, was one of the Jets’ first hires when the team turned to former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh for head coaching. The move also gave LaFleur a top-five draft pick to work with at quarterback in Zach Wilson.

In the Big Apple, however, things got rocky for Wilson and the Jets. In addition to dealing with inconsistencies from Wilson, the team then benched him and eventually went through three other quarterbacks in Mike White, Joe Flacco and Chris Streveler. The Jets ended the year on a six-game slide, going 7-10.

But before the Jets, LaFleur was the passing game under Kyle Shanahan at the 49ers. In his first season as passing game coordinator in 2017, the Niners ranked ninth in passing yards. He also delivered the league’s 10th ranked pass attack in 2019 during the 49ers’ run to the NFC title. None of his 49er passing attacks landed below 15th place.

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