Should Sean McVay let new OC Mike LaFleur call the plays?
When it comes to Sean McVay’s coaching staff, it’s been a revolving door at offensive coordinator since he started in 2017. He’s had Matt LaFleur, Kevin O’Connell and Liam Coen as his OCs, but O’Connell was the only one who stayed more than one season. He also went two years in 2018 and 2019 without a true offensive coordinator.
It’s hardly surprising that McVay has been the play caller his entire tenure in Los Angeles, given the turnover at the offensive coordinator position. But might McVay consider handing off play-calling duties to his new OC, Mike LaFleur? It’s certainly something he should consider.
McVay flirted with retirement for the second year in a row and seems to be getting burned out by the job. One way to alleviate some stress on game days is by delegating the play calling to his offensive coordinator – something he’s never done.
Doing that would allow McVay to have more of a big-picture view of the team during the game without solely focusing on which plays to call when the offense is on the field. Had the Rams hired a veteran coach like Frank Reich, this would be an easier decision. But with LaFleur being somewhat inexperienced, perhaps McVay will remain the play caller.
McVay said in November during the Rams’ rough stretch that neither he nor Raheem Morris would give up play-calling duties. The offense was playing terribly, and the play calling wasn’t great, but the team was also missing a lot of starters.
LaFleur was the Jets’ play caller for the last two years also had to endure some of the same troubles the Rams had in 2022. There was no consistency at quarterback, Breece Hall missed most of the season with injury and the offensive line underwent a lot of changes, too.
So, blaming him for the Jets ranking 28th and 29th in points scored the last two seasons is unfair.
Like McVay, LaFleur’s play calls have been skewed toward the pass. The Jets ranked 32nd and 27th in rushing attempts the last two years, while they were 13th and seventh in pass attempts in that same span. That doesn’t tell the whole story, of course. The Jets played from behind a lot in the last two seasons, so the game script forced them to throw the ball in order to catch up.
His background is in the aerial attack, though. He was the pass game coordinator with the 49ers from 2017-2020 and has also coached quarterbacks in his past. So LaFleur does have more experience in that area than he does the ground game.
McVay should still think about letting him call the plays, though. With a veteran quarterback, an established No. 1 receiver and a hopefully improved offensive line in L.A., LaFleur will be set up much better for success than he was in New York.
And with the Rams’ offense getting a little bit stagnant in 2022, maybe some fresh new calls will provide a spark.