The New York Jets made a ton of additions this offseason to try and improve upon a terrible 2-14 campaign last year.
With so many new toys, there seems to be an unlimited amount of candidates who could fit the bill as the team’s biggest secret weapon heading into 2021.
Although when Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox gave his take on the Jets, he decided to get a bit more creative with his selection.
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A Surprising Twist
Instead of choosing a highly touted free-agent addition or a sexy new selection from the 2021 NFL draft, Knox went the coaching route.
Bleacher Report recently listed every NFL team’s biggest secret weapon heading into a new football season and gave a very unique answer for Gang Green.
“The Jets have a secret weapon in offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. Though not as well-known as his brother and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, Mike has been coaching in the NFL since 2014. As the San Francisco 49ers’ passing-game coordinator from 2017 to 2020, LaFleur worked alongside new head coach Robert Saleh. He also regularly had to overcome injuries to starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Despite having Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, and C.J. Beathard start games under center last season, LaFleur managed to field an offense that ranked 12th in passing.”
LaFleur may be labeled as the Jets’ secret weapon, but really he’s even a secret to them.
He has never called plays in his young NFL career but has been around some of the game’s brightest offensive minds which inspires hope.
Speaking of secrets, he was the secret sauce to Robert Saleh becoming head coach of the Jets. The former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator was highly regarded on his own, but he’s a defensive guy.
He desperately needed a yin to his yang and that was LaFleur who he lauded behind the scenes to Jets’ ownership as part of his plan/pitch to be the head honcho of the green and white.
Gang Green has gone through a ton of defensive-minded head coaches over the last 20 years and most of them haven’t panned out. Saleh planned on being different by overseeing the entire operation. The only way that was viable is if he had a right-hand man that could handle things offensively and Saleh strongly believes LaFleur is that guy.
What Will His Offense Look Like Next Year?
Candidly? None of us truly know, it’s all speculation.
Since he’s never called plays before, all we’re left to do is guess what he could be planning. Although when you look at the types of coaches he’s been around you can start to assemble the puzzle pieces.
The 34-year old coach would love to establish the running game and make that the focal point of the offense. From there, Zach Wilson and this passing game would take over in the play-action passing game.
A legitimate concern with that plan is the Jets’ defense in 2021. If the inexperienced corners are unable to hold up, the green and white could be forced to play in a ton of shootouts this upcoming season.
This would put a ton of pressure on the former BYU passer to accelerate his development to fill what the Jets need.
Although the good news is LaFleur is guaranteed to be better than his predecessor. How do we know this? Well, he can’t be worse.
Over the last two years, the Jets finished 32nd out of 32 NFL teams in offense. Literally, it’s impossible to drop the bar any lower.