Coach Profile: Mike LaFleur

The 2nd-year play-caller aims to build on a very stellar rookie campaign in the booth. Mike LaFleur came to New York as a package deal with the big man in charge, Robert Saleh, and they look to cement their legacies for Gang Green.

LaFleur grew up in Mount Pleasant, Michigan with his older brother, Matt (Current Head Coach of the Packers). Athletics were a strong suit in the LaFleur household, as Mike’s father, Denny was a collegiate football player at Central Michigan, eventually becoming a football coach. This was clearly an inspiration for Mike, as he would follow an eerily similar career path.

LaFleur would go on to become an impact player on both sides of the ball at the D-III school, Elmhurst College in Illinois. Mike spent a few years under center quarterbacking the Blue Jays, until making a switch to safety for his last season. Lafleur was team captain for Elmhurst and lead them proudly. This would only be the start of his football career as he would make a jump into the coaching world in the next year, 2009.

Mike began his coaching career as an Offensive Assistant for the Blue Jays of Elmhurst College. Just a year later, LaFleur would head to St. Joseph’s College, where he spent 3 seasons, beginning as the Passing Game Coordinator, and eventually becoming the Offensive Coordinator. LaFleur would then take on a bigger role at Davidson College in 2013, where he served as their Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks Coach, and Wide Receiver Coach. That would be it for Lafleur at the college level, his next step was getting a whiff of the NFL, as an Intern.

Mike spent his 2014 as an Offensive Intern, helping out the OL for the Cleveland Browns. The Browns OL had a very productive year helping the Browns rushing attack gain 1,648 yards (12th), along with 16 TDs (2nd). In 2015, LaFleur would go to Atlanta, where he helped the Falcons reach the Super Bowl within 2 years of being there. He coached TEs in his first year, helping Jacob Tamme accumulate 657 yards, which ranked top 10 among TEs. The next year, Mike would coach the WRs, helping them become one of the best units in the league, led by future Hall of Famer, Julio Jones. During his time in Atlanta as an Offensive Assistant, the Falcons became one of the most prolific offenses in recent memory and notched an NFC Championship in the process.

LaFleur’s next and final stop before coming to New York would be to San Francisco to coach under new Head Coach, Kyle Shanahan. From 2017 to 2020, Mike would serve as the WRs Coach, Passing Game Specialist, and finally, the Passing Game Coordinator. Throughout his time in San Francisco, the 49ers were constantly a top 10 offense in the game in scoring, total offense, and rushing offense. Starting in 2018, the Niners experienced a carousel at QB due to injury, yet production never wavered as each QB would finish with at least an 87.2 passer rating. In 2019, the 49ers would reach the Super Bowl, led by an impressive offense and ferocious defense. After an impressive start in the NFL world, Mike LaFleur would get promoted to Offensive Coordinator, this time with the New York Jets.

LaFleur’s first year as Offensive Coordinator was a bright spot in a rough season for the Jets. Whether it was creative play calls or the emergence of Booth LaFleur, his promising start gives us fans much hope for 2022 and beyond.

The 4 Quarters:

Best Play: 3rd & 15 Trick Play Conversion vs Miami – During a Week 15 contest against the Dolphins, the Jets were in a close game late in the 2nd quarter. It was 3rd & 15, when the Jets ran a quick crossing route to Jamison Crowder. Rather than running for the first down marker, Crowder threw a pass backward to Braxton Berrios as defenders emerged. Berrios would corral it near the sideline and proceed to run for 22 yards for a crucial first down.

Best Game: 511 TotYd, 34 Points, 32 1stD – In a week 8 matchup against the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals, the Jets came into the game fielding an offense led by backup QB, Mike White, making his 1st career start. What happened next is something nobody expected…the Jets offense used trickery and short passes to dominate the Bengals and emerge victorious in a massive upset against the eventual AFC champions.

Best Quote: “I think we did it in air force football in gym class, like, when I was in 11th grade” – In a quote in reference to the 3rd & 15 Trick Play Conversion vs Miami.

Best Attribute: 2x NFC Champion – Bringing in an experienced winner is crucial for the Jets’ young staff and team.