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Rumour: Saleh Will Hire Mike LaFleur as OC

Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49er Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Following the news last night that the Jets had hired 49’ers DC Robert Saleh as their new head coach, it was rumoured that the Jets were sold on his leadership, and the staff he was planning to bring with him.

One of the names has been revealed. According to multiple NFL insiders, Saleh will bring 49’ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur, brother of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur to New York as his offensive coordinator.

Mike LaFleur comes with an outstanding reputation as an offensive mind and having worked under Kyle Shanahan, he’ll likely bring with him a similar offense.

In his first year as passing game coordinator in 2019, the 49’ers ranked eight in pass offense DVOA and even with Nick Mullens under centre for the majority of 2020 the 49’ers still ranked 12th in passing yards per game with over 250.

If you think about the Shanahan offense, you think of two things. Speed and space. He also prefers lineman who are a little lighter and move horizontally with ease. I would expect the Jets to get a lot quicker on offense over the coming year.

It’s an offensive system that relies on play-action with Jimmy Garoppolo using it on 32.3% of his drop-backs in 2020.

Some commentators like Dane Bruglar have already started to suggest what this could mean for the Jets at the #2 draft position suggesting that Zach Wilson would be a very interesting match with LaFleur.

This could be for a number of reasons. Firstly Shanahan prefers the outside-zone running scheme, which is the exact same system that was run at BYU under Jeff Grimes. Running that system from under centre is preferable, so if you have a QB who’s already used to it, even better.

It could also be because Wilson used play-action last year on 38% of his drop-backs and was highly efficient when doing so. Anyway, that’s a discussion for a different day, but it’s interesting to start thinking about.

Personally I love the Saleh hire, and I love the idea of Mike LaFleur running a Shanahan style offense in New York.