LOS ANGELES — The Rams hired former Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur on Friday to join Sean McVay’s quest to fix one of the least productive offenses in the league.
LaFleur spent the past two years with the Jets in his first stint as an NFL offensive coordinator, but New York struggled statistically in both years while missing the playoffs twice. He parted ways with the Jets (7-10) three days after the regular season ended.
LaFleur will follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Matt, by becoming Los Angeles’ offensive coordinator under coach Sean McVay, who has called the Rams’ plays and been in near-complete control of the offense throughout his six-year tenure.
McVay has publicly battled burnout exacerbated by a self-described inability to delegate during his Rams tenure, but he hasn’t said whether he plans to give more responsibility to LaFleur or his other assistants as he enters his seventh season in charge.
The Rams (5-12) wrapped up the worst season in NFL history by a defending Super Bowl champion. McVay’s offense has been one of the NFL’s best and most influential during his tenure, but Los Angeles finished last in the league in total yards and 27th in scoring after losing several significant players to injury, including Matthew Stafford, Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, No. 2 receiver Allen Robinson, and most of the offensive line.
Offensive coordinator Liam Coen then left the Rams after one season to return to Kentucky, where he spent a successful 2021 season as the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator.
The Rams’ previous offensive coordinator was Kevin O’Connell, who became the Vikings’ head coach shortly after the Rams’ Super Bowl victory a year ago.
Before Mike LaFleur, O’Connell was the only offensive coordinator hired by McVay who wasn’t a first-time coordinator, serving as Washington’s offensive coordinator in 2019. Matt LaFleur held the job during McVay’s first season in 2017, and the Rams went without a formal offensive coordinator in 2018 and 2019.
The Jets had one of the NFL’s worst offenses in both seasons with LaFleur in charge under head coach Robert Saleh. He led an offense last season that ranked 29th in scoring — two spots lower than the Rams — and 25th in total yards while struggling for consistent quarterback play.
LaFleur and the Jets mutually parted ways after several teams reportedly expressed interest in him despite New York’s lack of offensive success and a significant lack of progress by quarterback Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in 2021.
LaFleur was on the 49ers’ staff from 2017 to 2020 under Kyle Shanahan, who has beaten McVay’s teams in eight consecutive regular-season meetings. LaFleur also worked alongside Shanahan in the previous three seasons in Cleveland and Atlanta.
Matt LaFleur, McVay and Shanahan all worked on the same staff with Washington a decade ago. Matt LaFleur left McVay’s Rams after one season to call the plays as the Titans’ offensive coordinator before becoming the Packers’ head coach in January 2019.