Mike LaFleur is headed to LA
Mike LaFleur was speculated as a possible assistant for the Green Bay Packers next season. Mike, who is the brother of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, was the New York Jets offensive coordinator for the previous two seasons. He and head coach Robert Saleh decided to part ways this offseason, and there was a thought Mike could help Matt figure out how to fix the Packers’ offense.
That won’t happen, but Mike appears to be getting the benefit of the Sean McCvay-LaFleur family connection. According to Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network, Mike will be the next offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams.
The #Rams are hiring former #Jets OC Mike LaFleur as their new coordinator, sources say. The favorite all along, another LaFleur joins coach Sean McVay. pic.twitter.com/yXgmOVkC8U
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 27, 2023
If a LaFleur being the offensive coordinator for a McVay-led Rams team sounds familiar, you’re not wrong. Matt was the offensive coordinator for the Rams in 2017. The Rams went 11-5 that season before losing in the Wild Card round to the Atlanta Falcons. Matt’s success with quarterback Jared Goff and the Rams’ offense led to the Packers hiring him as their head coach in 2019–following another one-year stint with the Tennessee Titans.
Mike has a new set of challenges
Now Mike will have the same title with a different quarterback situation. Matthew Stafford will be back next season. Baker Mayfield, who played for Rams’ after Stafford’s injury, will hit free agency. Mayfield played well enough at the end of the season that the Rams should consider a quarterback competition between Mayfield and Stafford for next season.
Mike LaFleur will also face other challenges with the Rams. The Rams will have complications with the salary cap as they’ve built their roster to maximize a Super Bowl in the previous two seasons. Mike will also be tasked with fixing the Rams’ offense. That might require forward-thinking, as former Packers quarterback Kurt Benkert thinks the McVay/LaFleur offense has been figured out by NFL defenses.
A carousel of networking over results
We’ll see if Mike can have better success with the Rams than he had with the Jets. If so, maybe he could parlay that into a head coaching gig too. It matters who you know. We’ve seen that with another head coaching connection that linked an offensive coordinator as Mike’s replacement. Robert Saleh, a friend of Matt, hired former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to be the Jets’ offensive coordinator Thursday.