It’s not hard to see why Mike LaFleur wouldn’t be a team’s first choice as a head coach because he’s still only a year removed from being fired by the New York Jets, but how could the NFL not even be interested in talking to the L.A. Rams OC while they have their opportunity to do so right now? While candidates with less appealing resumes have been interviewed for head coach positions—and some could even argue that LaFleur is at least in the same vicinity of coaches who have already been hired—LaFleur hasn’t received a single request.
How could the NFL pass on Mike LaFleur at a time like this with a resume like this one:
- The Rams went from 27th in scoring to 8th in scoring after Sean McVay fired Liam Coen and replaced him with LaFleur. Though McVay has always called plays, this didn’t stop Matt LaFleur (who first went to the Titans as OC prior to joining the Packers), Kevin O’Connell, or Zac Taylor from getting jobs as head coaches.
- Puka Nacua had the best season by a rookie receiver ever
- Kyren Williams became the Rams best running back since Todd Gurley
- Matthew Stafford rebounded from the worst season of his career (post-rookie)
- LaFleur is off the McVay tree
- LaFleur is also off of the Kyle Shanahan tree, having coached under him from 2014-2020, first with the Browns, then the Falcons, then the 49ers. He was San Francisco’s pass game coordinator for four seasons, helping the team reach the Super Bowl in 2020
- LaFleur is also technically off of the LaFleur tree. His brother Matt is doing pretty good.
Even though Mike LaFleur is probably going to be hammered for his two seasons as offensive coordinator of the Jets, ranking bottom-5 in offense both years, it’s beyond proven at this point that Zach Wilson is a terrible quarterback and that New York didn’t do him any favors by constructing the worst offensive line in the NFL. And even after all of that, Robert Saleh didn’t want to fire LaFleur: He was forced to do so by the Jets when the team knew they were going to make a change at quarterback and that they were likely going to push for Aaron Rodgers.
The Jets scored 17.4 points per game under LaFleur in 2022 and 15.8 points per game with Nathaniel Hackett in 2023.
As bad as Zach Wilson is, he was better with LaFleur than with LaFleur’s replacement.
Now, as I said in the beginning, maybe the 36-year-old LaFleur shouldn’t be a head coach in 2024. But no interviews? No requests? Remember, as an offensive coordinator who doesn’t call plays (which O’Connell didn’t do, Matt LaFleur didn’t do, and Taylor didn’t do, but they’re all doing great now), LaFleur could even draw interest from other teams as a play calling offensive coordinator.
Other teams are somehow NOT even trying to do that?
Not only has Thomas Brown, who McVay decided not to promote to offensive coordinator when he had multiple opportunities to do so and is coming off of one season with the 2-15 Panthers, been interviewed as an OC for other teams, he’s even been interviewed as a head coach. The Titans interviewed Brown prior to hiring Callahan.
Steelers are interviewing former Carolina Panthers OC Thomas Brown today for their offensive coordinator position. He is the first of their candidates to do so.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 24, 2024
And Thomas Brown might make a better head coach AND offensive coordinator than Mike LaFleur, but...no interviews or requests?
If the Rams don’t implode in 2024 like they did in 2022, gear up to lose Mike LaFleur next offseason. If not, there’s something going on that the public must not be privy to as every other sign says he is headed in that direction.