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Mike LaFleur will have more control over Rams offense than previous coaches

Dan Pompei from The Athletic outlined how LaFleur has more influence than Kevin O’Connell, Zac Taylor, and others

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Philadelphia Eagles v New York Jets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

When Mike LaFleur mutually parted ways with the New York Jets, head coach Sean McVay was quick to snatch him up off the open market for the Los Angeles Rams. McVay’s hope is that LaFleur can leverage his past experience with the Jets and San Francisco 49ers—under the tutelage of Kyle Shanahan—and diversify LA’s running attack as the offensive coordinator.

The Athletic’s Dan Pompei wrote this week about how Kyle Shanahan called the Rams’ hiring of LaFleur “annoying” because “Sean can steal a lot of stuff from Mike now after he was with me for so long”.

Pompei also indicated that LA’s new OC has been handed more control over the offense than any McVay assistant previously, including the agency afforded to now Minnesota Vikings’ HC Kevin O’Connell, Cincinnati Bengals HC Zac Taylor, Green Bay Packers HC Matt LaFleur, Seattle Seahawks OC Shane Waldon, and Kentucky OC Liam Coen:

The Los Angeles Rams coach walks to the front of the meeting room and stands before quarterback Matthew Stafford and the rest of the offensive players. With the alacrity and clarity he is known for, the coach presents the installation for practice that day.

He had scripted the practice beforehand, reviewing his plan with the other coaches before presenting it to the players.

There is nothing out of the ordinary here — except the Rams coach is not Sean McVay, the Super Bowl LVI champion and former coach of the year who has earned the right to do it however he wants.

The Rams coach is Mike LaFleur.

The new offensive coordinator of the Rams is doing things McVay did in the past and things that Liam Coen, Kevin O’Connell, Shane Waldron, Zac Taylor and Matt LaFleur, Mike’s brother, never did when they were in similar positions under McVay.

McVay still will call plays, but he trusts LaFleur to take from his plate because LaFleur can connect with players and coaches.

It’s fair to assume that LaFleur has some work to do in order to rehabilitate his image as a young, promising offensive mind. His split from the Jets was probably more driven by ownership than head coach Robert Saleh’s sole decision, and it’s possible that McVay earns the credit for any success the Rams’ offense has this year. While Zach Wilson had his fair share of individual struggles, the young offensive coordinator should not be free of criticism.

But if Los Angeles can get more production from it’s previously anemic running game, LaFleur easily be one step closer to a head coach opportunity in the NFL—following in his brother’s footsteps. There’s still a wide demand for coaches from the Shanahan/McVay coaching tree, especially for teams looking to get more out of their developing quarterbacks.

Stability would be welcomed at the offensive coordinator spot for McVay and the Rams, as this is their third individual to hold that title since O’Connell left for the Vikings after Super Bowl LVI. Coen lasted just a year and took the fall for LA’s disappointing offensive production a year ago. However, based on Pompei’s reporting, LaFleur could find his time with the Rams a stepping stone to bigger and better opportunities.

NFL: AUG 03 Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Photo by Icon Sportswire