The LA Rams coaching staff will be undergoing some changes this offseason and chief among them is at offensive coordinator.
Although Sean McVay flirted with retirement again at the beginning of this offseason, he will be returning in 2023 albeit with a new right-hand man.
Rams offensive coordinator Liam Coen decided to return to the University of Kentucky in the same role after just one season in L.A.
Knowing how important the offensive coordinator position is, McVay wasted no time filling it before addressing the other openings on his staff. Over the weekend, it was announced that the Rams are bringing in Mike LaFleur, formerly of the New York Jets, as their new offensive coordinator.
With McVay remaining with the Rams, part of the equation for him will be finding a better work-life balance so he doesn’t get worn out. And the biggest factor in that is having someone like LaFleur, who can take on more responsibilities.
But will those responsibilities include calling plays? And if so, would that even be the right move?
McVay has spoken on this in the past
McVay was asked about potentially giving up playcalling duties this past November when the Rams offense was really struggling. McVay’s answer at the time was no, and to paraphrase his reasoning, he said that he is willing to accept the criticism when the Rams struggle and that it is essentially a collaborative effort between him and his staff.
It was a very vague comment from McVay, but if there’s anything to take away from it it’s that he is a very prideful guy and feels he is the best playcalling option. And even though the Rams have added a new young mind to the room in LaFleur, I wouldn’t expect that to change, nor should it.
McVay is known to be one of the best offensive coaches in recent memory. No, he is not perfect as a play-caller. There are times when he gets away from the run and becomes pass-happy. This has especially been the case since the team acquired Matthew Stafford.
Too much throwing?
It’s no secret that Stafford has a huge arm that McVay fell in love with. But especially with the Rams’ offensive line, having Stafford drop back 50 times just isn’t a recipe for success. And during L.A.’s Super Bowl run, McVay and his staff realized that. From December on, they got back to what they do best and that’s running the ball to set up play-action and misdirection.
That is part of what makes McVay an offensive genius though. His concepts are phenomenal, everybody knows that, and although he isn’t always perfect at calling plays, he is good at self-reflection and correcting his mistakes from week to week.
So even though McVay won’t and shouldn’t give up play-calling, I think the LaFleur hire will help the offense a lot. The Rams offense has been at its best when there is an OC capable of collaborating and making his own play suggestions, checking McVay when needed. That was the case with Kevin O’Connell and LaFleur’s brother Matt. Coen clearly didn’t work out in that regard, but the hope is that LaFleur’s experience as a play-caller in New York will help bring that collaboration back and make everyone better for it.