Why Mike LaFleur is the right OC hire for the LA Rams in 2023

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Mike LaFleur
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Reason I: He has insights into the 49ers’ offensive mindset

The LA Rams do not want to ‘replicate’ any other offense in the NFL. That is not Sean McVay’s style. Rather, he wants to take pieces from other offenses that work well, and graft them into his own offensive playbook. That, in itself, is a very positive sign for the direction the LA Rams offense is taking in 2023 and beyond.

Before the Jets’ offense lost rookie RB Breece Hall for the season, the Jets were 5-2. But let’s dive a bit deeper into those first seven games in terms of offense production:

Game           Opponent       Passing                             Rushing            Final score
Week 1:       Ravens            37/59 309 1 TD/I INT    17/83/0           24-9 Loss
Week 2:       Browns           27/45 309 4 TD/0 INT   20/93/0           31-30 Win
Week 3:       Bengals           28/52 285 0 TD/2 INT  20/76/0           27-12 Loss
Week 4:       Steelers          19/37 250 2 TD/2 INT   29/98/1           24-20 Win
Week 5:       Dolphins         14/21 210 0 TD/0 INT   33/135/5         40-17 Win
Week 6:       Packers           10/18   99 0 TD/0 INT   33/179/2         27-10 Win
Week 7:       Broncos           16/26 121 0 TD/0 INT  24/155/1         16-9 Win

What does this mean for the LA Rams? How does this translate into helping the Rams’ offense? Well, the basis for the Jets’ impressive start to the 2022 NFL season was not a great passing offense. In fact, the Jets’ offense passed rather well with veteran quarterback Joe Flacco under center. But when the Jets needed to manufacture points, the team leaned heavily into their running game, and rookie Breece Hall was ready to deliver.

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Big burly backs? Yes, please

For those fans who want to see a change in the Rams’ offense, pivoting to bigger offensive linemen and running backs for a more physical style of play, and it could all combine to be music to the ears.

In his two seasons with the Jets, they drafted two offensive linemen, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Max Mitchell, and two running backs, Michael Carter and Breece Hall. If that same pattern holds true, then the LA Rams could very well be on track to draft one offensive lineman and one running back in the 2023 NFL Draft.

That’s not a bad mix. The Rams will have plenty of returning veterans, rookies are nowhere close to ‘sure things,’ and the Rams roster is packed with veterans who are in that chapter of their careers when it’s important to make the playoffs, and not babysit a crop of young rookies who could take several years to find success in the NFL.

Yes, the Rams’ offense is due for some changes. And I believe that hiring Mike LaFleur will be the catalyst to bring those changes about. But don’t look for the Rams to draft an entirely new offensive line. Nor would I recommend counting on the Rams steering clear of some old draft favorites, like drafting a rookie wide receiver.

But the Rams have a new offensive coordinator. Their next stop is to land a solid offensive line coach. Stay tuned . . .

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