Things may not be going well in the present for the New York Jets, but there is a lot of optimism for the future.
That rings true not only for the players in the locker room but also for the coaches on the sideline.
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Pretty High Praise
Over the last five years, NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero has released an exclusive list featuring the top up-and-coming coaches who could become head coaches sooner rather than later.
It’s a fascinating inside look at names across the league that isn’t getting enough love, but also one that has a successful track record.
For context over the last four head coaching cycles, 14 of those 27 hires were featured on this list. The specific target demo has been coaches under the age of 45 and seeking their first HC gig.
With that kind of hit rate, the names that are mentioned on this list shouldn’t be taken lightly.
With that in mind, Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur was among the names listed as one to “watch in the coming years” for a future head coaching opportunity.
Jets Fans Fears Finally Realized
The hiring of head coach Robert Saleh this offseason was met with a lot of praise and celebration. More optimism continued to pile in when the rest of his staff was announced including bringing in LaFleur from San Francisco.
Although some fans raised an interesting point, by hiring a young up-and-coming offensive mind, they risked the chance of him being hired away a few years later as a future head coach for another NFL team.
In theory, Jets fans argued that wouldn’t be the optimal situation to groom a young quarterback in.
What I think a lot of people missed at the time is the genesis of that potential hire. If LaFleur performed well enough as an offensive mind that some other random NFL team would choose to hire him to run the entire operation, that is great news.
That would likely indicate that the Jets offense was firing on all cylinders at a historic level we haven’t seen in a very long time. I believe that’s what the young kids call these days a first-world problem.
LaFleur is a first-time NFL play-caller that has been a longtime Kyle Shanahan disciple following him at every professional stop of his career from the Cleveland Browns to the Atlanta Falcons to most recently with the 49ers.
While things started off pretty choppy, the Jets scored a measly 20 points through the first three weeks of the season, they have since turned it around.
Gang Green has 1,108 passing yards over their last three games. That is the best total in a three-game span in team history, per Michael Nania of Jets X-Factor.
LaFleur is figuring things out as he progresses through his first season. With more experience, he is finding out what plays work and what ones don’t.
He is an incredibly young offensive mind but he has finally found a perfect balance of trick plays, maximizing the talent around him, and getting the most out of his quarterbacks.