LaFleur is young, up and coming offensive mind who has worked extensively with both Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay over his 10 years of NFL coaching experience. He has worked primarily as a quarterbacks coach under Shanahan, first in Washington, then in Atlanta, before taking a promotion to offensive coordinator under Sean McVay this past season.
While in Washington he worked as Robert Griffin III’s position coach during his incredible Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign in 2012 as the staff blended the west coast passing principles that the Shanahans are famous for with heavy read option concepts that Griffin was familiar with from his time at Baylor.
After spending a year as the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame, LaFleur followed Shanahan again to Atlanta where he worked in 2015 and 2016, helping Matt Ryan produce his MVP season in his last year there as the Falcons put together the NFL’s most explosive offense. That success led to LaFleur getting the opportunity to take a promotion to join his old friend Sean McVay — whom he worked with in Washington on what was an absolutely loaded coaching staff — in Los Angeles as offensive coordinator. We all know what McVay and LaFleur did for Jared Goff in 2017.
LaFleur has found success at every stop in his career and has particularly excelled with mentoring young quarterbacks. I wrote some thoughts on him as a potential head coach for the Titans here if you want to check out more. The one drawback to this hire is his lack of playcalling experience. McVay called his own plays in LA last year, although LaFleur did assume the rest of the typical offensive coordinator duties.
“So thankful to have him here,” McVay said earlier this year about LaFleur, via USA Today. “He’s as responsible as anybody for the success our offense has had. In terms of organizing the game plans, being able to run the meetings, making sure that everything is in alignment on the same page, he does it all. Can’t say enough about the contribution he has made to our team.”
With LaFleur, the Titans are getting one of the best young offensive minds in the NFL, a guy who was considered for possible head coaching jobs this offseason — including the Titans job. He’s a guy who has had enormous success working with talented quarterbacks, which is something that Greg Cosell mentioned as a plus when discussing him as a potential head coaching candidate a couple weeks ago.
@GregCosell on @Midday180 - “Mariota needs a lot of detail and nuance work. He drifts off the midline and moves into pressure. He needs a lot of detail work but they are things that can be accomplished by coaching - which Matt LaFleur has.” #Titans— The Midday 180 (@Midday180) January 17, 2018
This is a home run hire for Vrabel as the Titans now have taken the offensive coordinator from the #6 offense in the league and the defensive coordinator from the #3 defense in the NFL according to DVOA as their new coordinators on each side of the ball. While many of us — myself included — loved John DeFilippo, LaFleur was always the 1B to his 1A in my mind. You are now allowed to get excited about this coaching staff.
[UPDATE]- The team has confirmed both coordinator hires.