Thu, 30 Mar 2023

Stu Jackson

The Rams on Friday officially announced the hiring of Mike LaFleur as their next offensive coordinator.

Here are five things you should know about him:

1) Comes from a familiar coaching tree

Both LaFleur and Rams head coach Sean McVay worked under 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan at different points in their careers.

LaFleur worked with Shanahan with the Browns in 2014 when Shanahan became Cleveland's offensive coordinator, then followed Shanahan to Atlanta to take an offensive assistant job with the Falcons in 2015 when Shanahan became the Falcons offensive coordinator that same year.

McVay, meanwhile, overlapped with Shanahan in Washington from 2010-13 when they both worked under Shanahan's father, Mike, during Mike's tenure as its head coach. Both McVay and Kyle Shanahan became instrumental people in Mike's development as a coach, according to an August 2021 story by ESPN's Rich Cimini.

2) Passing background, but has experience with productive run games

During LaFleur's first season as Jets offensive coordinator, New York's run game overcame a difficult first half of the season to produce 50 more rushing yards per game over their final eight games compared to their first nine, with its 5.19 average yards per carry second-most in the NFL during that stretch.

When on the Browns coaching staff in 2014, LaFleur worked with an offensive line that aided Cleveland running backs in recording the second-most rushing touchdowns in the NFL that year (16) and the 12th-most rushing yards gained (1,648).

3) If that last name sounds familiar...

... Yes, he is the younger brother of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, who was previously the Rams' offensive coordinator in 2017 (McVay's first season as head coach).

4) Distributing the ball around

LaFleur's third season as passing game coordinator for the 49ers (2019) saw their offense have 13 different players record at least one touchdown catch, which tied the NFL record for most players in a single season.

5) Quarterback-turned-safety in college

LaFleur spent his first three seasons at Elmhurst College as a backup quarterback before making the switch to safety his senior year.

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