Rams’ Sean McVay Makes ‘Biggest Hire’ in Return: Insider

Mike LaFleur

Getty Mike LaFleur on August 1, 2022 in Florham Park, New Jersey.

The most appealing opening on the Los Angeles Rams‘ coaching staff was filled January 27, with Sean McVay hiring Mike LaFleur as the team’s offensive coordinator.

In reporting the news, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network called it the “biggest hire” because it signaled McVay’s desire to return for the 2023 season after speculation by ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he was considering stepping away.

“With Sean McVay deciding to return, this was the biggest hire for the Rams this offseason. And now, Mike LaFleur agrees to terms and finalizes a deal to land in LA as the key offensive mind alongside McVay,” Rapoport tweeted.

What Mike LaFleur Brings to Rams Offense

LaFleur, 36, and the New York Jets mutually parted ways after the season after two years with him as offensive coordinator. The Jets finished 7-10 in a tumultuous 2022 that saw four different starting quarterbacks, the bench of Zach Wilson (the Jets’ 2021 No. 2 overall pick) and the offense ranking 25th overall.

However, he was successful the last time he worked on the West Coast on Kyle Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers staff.  He spent two seasons as the 49ers wide receiver coach before serving as passing game coordinator in 2019 and 2020.

His 2017 passing unit went on to rank ninth in aerial yardage despite not producing a 1,000-yard receiver. After placing 15th in passing yards for 2018, his group then took 13th in yards but rose to 10th in passing touchdowns during their 2019 run to the NFC title. His final group in S.F. took 12th in total passing yards.

LaFleur also helped produce a rising wideout in Garrett Wilson with the Jets. The 2022 rookie caught 83 passes for 1,103 yards and scored four touchdowns in LaFleur’s offense. Breece Hall also became a potential early Rookie of the Year candidate before his torn ACL.

But LaFleur’s name had been mentioned as the lead candidate for the Rams’ offensive coordinator opening for weeks.

Reactions to Rams Hire, Including Thoughts of New Wrinkle & New QB

Fans began to chime in on the Rams rolling with a new LaFleur for the offense.

“Super excited about new Rams OC Mike LaFleur. He had Breece Hall on track to be AFC OROY before his injury, so hopefully he can help sustain the end-of-season boost to our run game. Maybe bring in a FB/TE presence to bring back some 12/21P (12 and 21 personnel) concepts in Shanahan’s [Kyle] Juszczyk role,” one fan said.

Another fan, who identified himself as a season tickets holder for Rams games, said it wouldn’t be surprising if the Rams now gravitate toward one Jets quarterback in the event Baker Mayfield walks away in free agency.

“Mike LaFleur is now our OC. It wouldn’t surprise me if we go after Mike White as our back up QB…especially if Baker Mayfield is gone. He played well for the Jets and is a very capable back up. He’s an UFA [unrestricted free agent] and wont be expensive,” the fan said.

McVay is turning to his second LaFleur on offense. Mike’s older brother, Matt, served as offensive coordinator before taking over the Green Bay Packers.

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