Jets OC Mike LaFleur takes full blame for fourth-and-2 disaster against Buccaneers

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Jets OC Mike LaFleur solo
Jets OC Mike LaFleur solo

Jets head coach Robert Saleh made it known it was on the coaching staff that the job wasn't finished against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a crushing loss last Sunday.

It came specifically on a fourth-and-2 play where Zach Wilson went for a QB sneak instead of the intended call to give the jet-sweeping Braxton Berrios the ball. Tom Brady ended up making them pay in the end.

Saleh didn't say it directly, but he hinted at the communication in the huddle with OC Mike LaFleur and Wilson. It wasn't good enough, and on Thursday, LaFleur admitted it.

"First, it’s 100 percent on me," he told reporters before practice. "Disappointed with myself for two reasons. I pride myself on communication and our unit on execution. You hear me talk about execution a lot and I failed at both of those. The total intent was to get Braxton the ball. He was ballin’ and I failed at both of that to get that relayed. Our quarterback did exactly what he was supposed to do in that moment, and like I said, I know what our intent was if you want to believe that or not. That’s what happened and I failed at both, and again, I have to live with that.”

Explained Saleh on Monday:

"It was a reverse to Berrios. Quarterback has an option based on the look that he has to sneak the ball. In that situation, we wanted the ball handed off to Berrios. We did a very poor job as a coaching staff communicating that in the huddle and Zach executed the playbook as it's designed."

What made it worse is the replay showed Berrios with a wide open lane on the left side of the field to pick up the first down and possibly even a touchdown to ice the game.

Wilson, being the leader of the offense, didn't want the blame to go on his coaches.

"I did what I thought was necessary to do right there," Wilson, who had a tremendous game with 234 yards and one touchdown, said. "That was in my parameters and coach LaFleur understands that. It’s easy to say, 'Hey, I hand that off and we get the first down.'"

Nevertheless, these are the types of plays you learn from. Just like these young Jets players, the new coaching staff is learning on the fly, too, determining strengths and weaknesses and growing with their roster.

LaFleur certainly gets that part of his job and will move forward accordingly.

"In that situation, I’m going to make sure that absolutely does not happen again," he said.