Coen Gone. LA Rams next OC means Sean McVay still calling plays

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have known that the role that head coach Sean McVay likes to fill may be a larger-than-expected role than some head coaches like to oversee. Now, don’t get me wrong. NFL head coaches have, for many years, been pushing the envelope over what the role entails.  The expansion oftentimes involves direct oversight and input into the team’s defense, direct oversight, and input, as well as calling the plays on offense, and finally stretching into the general manager role of building the team’s roster.

In fact, some of the greatest controversies in the NFL have occured over the power struggle of an NFL head coach insisting upon a more direct say over which players are on the roster come game day. But the LA Rams pair of GM Les Snead and HC Sean McVay have been in synch throughout McVay’s tenure.

McVay rules the field. Snead rules the roster.

What McVay wants, McVay gets

That is not to say that Les Snead does not get the players that Sean McVay wants. He does. And that is not to say that Sean McVay will not direct who the team trades for. We have seen in the Matthew Stafford trade that McVay will lobby the team owner for authorization to get ‘his guy’ under the center.

But when the team had to wait for Sean McVay to decide if he had enough fire to lead the LA Rams one more season, the belief was that the plate was too full, the office walls were too confining. And the hope was that with the departure of offensive coordinator Liam Coen, McVay’s next offensive coordinator would be an NFL veteran who might handle more of the offensive responsibilities of the team:

But we now know that the most likely offensive coordinator for the LA Rams is Mike LaFleur.

Don’t look for many changes in the Rams’ offense

The hiring of former Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur does two things for the coaching staff. It brings in a less seasoned offensive coordinator into the Rams coaching circles and ensures that the team has a young fresh perspective on innovations, ideas, and suggestions to make the offense tick in 2023 and beyond.

But the move ensures that Coach McVay, and not Mike LaFleur, will be calling the offensive plays for the LA Rams for the foreseeable future. That’s disappointing.  Not because I hate the plays or the results of McVay calling the plays. I simply have witnessed LA Rams head coach Sean McVay flirt with leaving twice in two seasons. As much control as Coach McVay wants to consolidate under the role of head coach, he is oversubscribed, and desperately needs to delegate some of that work to his staff.

In the end, it doesn’t matter who calls the offensive plays, just as long as they can get it right and can keep doing it consistently. That is not the case for the LA Rams right now, as by season’s end, McVay has been open to walking away from the NFL.  That is a clear indication that however McVay has structured his tasks, he needs to get some of that off his plate. The problem is, don’t look for that to happen in 2023. Mike LaFleur is talented and insightful, but when researching his time with the New York Jets, phrases like ‘over his head,’ and ‘too inexperienced’ kept jumping off the page.

In other words, looks like Deja’ Vu all over again.

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