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Jets Coaching Candidate of the Day: Matt LaFleur

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NFL: Tennessee Titans-Training Camp Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

With Todd Bowles likely on the way out at the end of the season, we are going to take a look at some of the potential candidates to replace him. Whenever we do something like this, there are some typical criticisms that always pop up like, “Why profile this guy? He stinks!” and “He won’t be interested.” We aren’t just profiling the good candidates or suggesting these people are all likely to take the job. We are simply looking at people the Jets could reasonably expected to call.

Today’s candidate: Matt LaFleur

Category: NFL Assistant

Current Job: Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator

Years of NFL Coaching Experience: 10

Head Coaching Experience: None

Pros:

  • Has spent most of his NFL coaching career working under quality offensive minds such as Gary Kubiak, Kyle Shanahan, and Sean McVay.
  • Part of the Rams offensive coaching staff in 2017 that turned the team’s and Jared Goff’s fortunes around.
  • It’s totally subjective, but I like the fact he left the McVay cocoon to take ownership of his own offense.

Cons:

  • Lacks experience; never a head coach and only one year of play calling.
  • Tennessee offense hasn’t been very impressive under his leadership this season.

The Bottom Line:

The popular school of thought on LaFleur seems to be that his pedigree working under Shanahan and McVay is an asset, while his work with the Titans damages his head coaching credentials.

I see things differently. I think it’s tough for me to hold the Titans’ offensive woes against him. His offense has been fairly well-designed from when I have watched them. He just doesn’t have a ton to work with, and I include the quarterback when I say that. People want to judge LaFleur on Marcus Mariota’s progress, but what if Mariota is just a run of the mill talent? I think people forget that the quality of the players matters a lot.

With that said, I’m not sure what the case is for LaFleur to be a head coach at this point beyond the fact he worked for Shanahan and McVay in the past. I do value coaching trees to an extent, but I need more than just that. Even good coaching trees have some branches that turn into driftwood.