Mike LaFleur’s next coaching job may come across the country.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, LaFleur has emerged as a “likely” choice for Sean McVay’s vacant offensive coordinator role with the Rams — and a candidate who is “expected” to land on Los Angeles’ staff. LaFleur and the Jets parted ways Wednesday after two seasons, a move made to allow LaFleur to pursue other opportunities.
The Rams’ offensive coordinator position opened when Liam Cohen returns to Kentucky after one season in the NFL, and Garafolo indicated that “there will be a lot of changes” on McVay’s staff. Los Angeles went 5-12 and missed the playoffs just a year after claiming the Super Bowl.
For a brief period after the regular season, there was doubt as to whether McVay himself would return. He revealed his decision on Friday, however, and the Rams confirmed on the team’s Twitter account. McVay engaged in a similar conversation last offseason after Los Angeles’ Super Bowl win, with reports of broadcast opportunities coming up before the 36-year-old finally signed a contract extension.
“I’m going to need the next couple of days to really think about it,” McVay said in his press conference for the end of the season Monday. “Obviously, a lot of discussions with various people that will dictate and determine the best decision for me, my family, the Rams and a lot of people. This is where we are.”
With his decision made, McVay’s next steps will revolve around improving an offense that finished last in the NFL at 280.5 yards per game and 27th in points per game at 18.1. The Rams lost top offensive target Cooper Kupp to a season-ending ankle injury in November, but even before that, the unit never found a rhythm. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has dealt with a variety of injuries, including a season-ending spinal cord injury, according to NFL.com.
LaFleur’s offense also struggled in 2022 as the Jets dealt with injuries and inconsistent quarterback play while failing to score a touchdown in their last three games. Rookies Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall provided sparks — though Hall ultimately suffered a torn ACL — but Zach Wilson sat out twice and Mike White suffered a fractured rib, leading to a revolving door at quarterback that even featured Joe Flacco in five games.
LaFleur previously coached on the West Coast while on the 49ers staff, where he served as San Francisco’s wide receivers coach and eventually as the passing game coordinator.