Grading Mike LaFleur: B-

In 1 1/2 seasons, Mike LaFleur's performance as offensive coordinator has been a mixed bag. overall, I'd give him a B to B-. But I am reluctant to simply boil it down to a single grade because I think that there are areas where he is very strong and areas where he is weak.

Instead, I'll break down the various jobs that an OC has and try to grade LaFleur on each.

1. Play Design: A-.

IMO, this is where LaFleur shines the brightest. In fact, I'd be tempted to give him an A to A+ except that it isn't entirely clear how much is LaFleur and how much is his access to the same playbooks as Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur.

In any case, Mike LaFleur consistently draws up plays that get receivers open and that create rushing lanes for the running backs.

2. Game Plans: B

A good game plan should maximize your team's strengths and seek to exploit your opponent's weaknesses. This has been a mixed bag for LaFleur. There have been some games (including against the Bills on Sunday) where LaFleur seems to have planned perfectly. Other games where you scratch your head and wonder whether LaFleur even thought about the actual personnel on the field before calling plays.

3. In-Game Adjustments: B+

For years, it seemed like every Jets coach would get out-smarted by the opposing coaching staff at half-time. The other team would make adjustments and the Jets wouldn't. If I had a complaint, it would be that LaFleur's offense tends to turn it on in the 4th Quarter, not the 3rd Quarter. But, overall, LaFleur definitely does not blindly continue doing what isn't working.

4. Matching Personnel to Scheme: C

Some players are better than others. A good OC will primarily run the offense through the most talented players. Furthermore, all players are better at some things than other things.

During his tenure with the Jets, LaFleur has consistently struggled with these concepts.

Last year, he leaned heavily on a TE corps that was sub-par at best. He also ignored Wilson's accuracy struggles and had Zach throwing to smallish WRs downfield instead of using Mims as a large target who could catch disputed balls.

While we all saw how effective the LaFleur offense could be last season when White, Johnson and Flacco were QBs, LaFleur did a poor job of adjusting to when Zach was the QB.

In the first game this season, despite the addition of Garrett Wilson, Uzomah, Conklin, and the continued presence of Moore and Davis, LaFleur decided that Lawrence Cager should be highly featured.

Despite relenting criticism, LaFleur has utterly failed to utilize Moore properly. Instead we see Berrios, Jeff Smith, or Ty Johnson being used where Moore would be way more dynamic.

5. QB Development: C

This is the hardest criteria to judge because we don't see what goes on behind the scenes. But I increasingly suspect that the continued presence of many of Zach's flaws can be chalked up to poor coaching.

For example, when Zach came back from injury last season, he was doing a better job of getting rid of the ball quickly, he was taking short passes instead of trying to play hero ball, he was eliminating turnovers, and he was generally trying to emulate what MFW and Johnson had done effectively.

This season, many of Zach's bad habits cropped up again. And it wasn't until Sunday that Zach appeared committed to releasing the ball quickly, scrambling for first downs, and cutting down on the hero ball. The fact that he fixed so much in one week tells me that the coaches were failing to address the red flags before everything exploded against the Patriots.

6. "Man Management": D-

Being a successful coach in the NFL requires more than a knowledge of X's and O's. It requires people skills. Although it is a bit of a cliche, an NFL coach needs to be a "leader of men." Unfortunately, LaFleur seems to have some of the same flaws as Adam Gase: Namely, playing favorites, feuding with players, and allowing petty grudges to undermine the team's goals.

In less than two years, LaFleur has gotten into public spats with two premium draft pick WRs to the point that both requested trades. Nothing in the background of either Mims or Moore would suggest that they are problem players along the lines of Antonio Brown.

Now, I'm not saying that Moore handled the issue correctly, but I think a more skilled OC would have nipped the problem in the bud weeks earlier. 31 other teams have players with egos. But somehow they manage to deal with the problems that arise without making high draft picks inactive (or ignored) for extended periods of time.

At best, LaFleur appears unskilled at keeping players happy. At worst, LaFleur is petty and vindictive, even to the point of harming the team.

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