The Los Angeles Rams are in the midst of reshuffling a bunch of positions on Sean McVay's coaching staff. That to-do list got a bit shorter as the club has hired Mike LaFleur to be its next offensive coordinator, the team announced Friday. LaFleur had been looked at as the favorite to land the gig after he and the New York Jets mutually decided to part ways earlier this offseason, and Anderson reported on Thursday that he had "the inside track" to the gig he's ultimately secured.
During the period McVay was still mulling his own future in the NFL before deciding to return to remain L.A.'s head coach, the Rams did see former offensive coordinator Liam Coen return to the University of Kentucky to be its OC after one season in the NFL. Coen was hired by the Rams after Kevin O'Connell accepted the head-coaching job of the Minnesota Vikings last offseason.
During the 2022 campaign, the Rams were ravished by injured on both sides of the ball, but particularly on offense where both quarterback Matthew Stafford and wideout Cooper Kupp were eventually shut down for the year. In part due to those injuries, Los Angeles' offense struggled, ranking 23rd in the NFL in DVOA and last in the league in total yards per game (280.5).
They'll look to turn that around with LaFleur, who has familiarity with McVay due to their connection with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. Prior to becoming the Jets' offensive coordinator in 2021, LaFleur climbed the coaching ladder under Shanahan through stops with the Browns, Falcons and 49ers. In San Francisco, he was the passing game coordinator before making the leap to OC with New York. McVay also worked under Shanahan from 2010 to 2013 while in Washington.
With the Jets, LaFleur did not find tremendous success on the offensive side of the ball. In 2021, the club ranked 31st in both points and total yards yet did see much improvement in 2022 as it was 25th in total yards and 31st in passing touchdowns. A lot of that was due to the insufficient play at the quarterback position, particularly in the final three weeks of this season for New York where the team averaged just five points per game.
Despite those struggles on offense, LaFleur and the Jets mutually agreed to part ways so the OC could pursue other opportunities around the league. Now, he's found that next opportunity in Los Angeles.