With Sean McVay back, one of first objectives after informing the Los Angeles Rams he’s returning on Friday, January 13: Figuring out who will be on his 2023 staff. One insider already revealed who could fill one void by saying “he’s expected to land on McVay’s staff.”
Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network on Saturday, January 14, reported that Mike LaFleur — formerly the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets and who once coached against McVay from 2017 to 2020 with the San Francisco 49ers — is linked to join McVay.
“There will be many changes on his staff,” Garafolo said on NFL Gameday. “Possible that Mike LaFleur, who was let go by the Jets to pursue other opportunities, that could be the opportunity for him. He’s expected to land on McVay’s staff.”
Will This Mean McVay Will Turn to LaFleur to Run the Offense?
Garafolo didn’t specify that LaFleur is a lock for the open offensive coordinator spot in the “Rams House.” However, given the opening and his past background with offense, LaFleur could have the opportunity to snag that role on the Rams.
“The Jets allowed Mike LaFleur as OC to explore other opportunities and heading to the Rams in the same role is foremost among those potential opportunities he could snag soon,” Garafolo posted on social media.
Garafolo wasn’t the only insider who linked LaFleur with the Rams. Two more league insiders mentioned the 36-year-old as a possibility for the Rams.
“Sean McVay has work to do on staffing and one name to keep an eye on is a familiar one—ex-Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur,” said Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated on Friday.
Rams insider for The Athletic Jourdan Rodrigue was another who believes LaFleur is “one name to keep an eye on as far as external candidates go.”
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.
What Happened With Mike LaFleur in New York?
LaFleur, 36, was one of the first hires made by the Jets when the team turned to former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh as head coach. The move additionally gave LaFleur a top five draft pick to work with at quarterback in Zach Wilson.
However, things became rocky in the Big Apple for Wilson and the Jets. The team not only dealt with inconsistency from Wilson, but then benched him and ended up going through three other quarterbacks in Mike White, Joe Flacco and Chris Streveler. The Jets ended up finishing the year on a six-game slide and went 7-10.
But prior to the Jets, LaFleur was responsible for the passing game under Kyle Shanahan with the 49ers. His first season as passing game coordinator in 2017 saw the Niners rank ninth in passing yards. He also delivered the league’s 10th ranked passing attack in 2019 during the 49ers’ run to the NFC title. Not one of his 49ers passing attacks ranked lower than 15th.