Jets’ Mike LaFleur highlighted among ‘top young coaches’ in NFL

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New York Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur is in search of a bounce-back year. His first with the team in 2021 didn’t get well, but the expectations weren’t exactly through the roof.

At the time, quarterback Zach Wilson was a rookie and the playmakers around him did not instill as much hope as they do now. Former top pick Mekhi Becton getting his health and form back in 2022 could go a long ways as well.

All in all, the Jets finished as the 26th best overall offense last season.

But before even having to prove he’s worth of his position, LaFleur was held in high regard by The Athletic. In naming the top “young coaches” under 40 in the NFL, LaFleur was included on the outlet’s list.

There is some reason for optimism in New York that LaFleur can get more out of his roster moving forward. Not only have first-year pros in Wilson, receiver Elijah Moore, among others taken another year of growth, there’s high optimism around rookie addition Garrett Wilson and even a potentially improved defense taking some pressure off the offense.

Time will tell if LaFleur gets his unit to take steps forward in 2022.

Here’s The Athletic’s breakdown on LaFleur:

Few things went right for the Jets’ offense in 2021 with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson and LaFleur, the first-year offensive coordinator. But with a restocked offensive roster and a year’s worth of lessons learned, LaFleur has a real chance now for professional growth.

LaFleur, the younger brother of Packers coach Matt LaFleur, joined Robert Saleh’s staff in New York after working for Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco and Atlanta. He’s now leading a slimmed-down offensive staff, along with quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese, as they try to accelerate Wilson’s development in Year 2.

“For him to walk in, head up, (with the) conviction and strength that he projected was pretty awesome, and I think it fed through, because the offense did nothing but get better as the year went on,” Saleh told reporters this month. “Second time around as a coordinator, second year, it’s only getting to get better. Excited to see him grow.”

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