It's been a long time since a NY Jets assistant coach has been touted as a future head coach candidate, but after the team's hottest start in years, that's exactly what's happening.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero recently put together a list of potential future head coach candidates and Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur was among those listed as coaches that could get a look as soon as this offseason.
Pelissero also mentioned Jets quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese and linebackers coach Mike Rutenberg as names to watch for the future, but he insisted that LaFleur could even receive interviews for this coming coaching cycle.
LaFleur was praised for the work he's done with this Jets offense as well as his ability to overcome both injuries and inconsistent quarterback play. He's someone NFL teams are keeping a close eye on.
"It's probably a little soon for Packers coach Matt LaFleur's younger brother, who's still developing as a play-caller and a leader. But if the Jets keep winning with a very young core, it won't be a shock to see Mike LaFleur get an interview request or two. He's personable and from the same Shanahan/McVay tree of offense that has produced many other successful head coaches."- Tom Pelissero
The NY Jets could lose Mike LaFleur in the future
Finding a competent offensive coordinator has been challenging enough for the Jets over the last decade-plus that the thought of that coordinator being so good that the team loses them hasn't really been a thought. But that's exactly what could happen with LaFleur.
As Pelissero notes, it's probably a bit early for LaFleur who, at just 35 years old, has only been coaching in the NFL for eight years. He's certainly a coach on the rise, but it would seem premature for him to be offered a head coach job this offseason.
Interviews aren't out of the question though, especially if the Jets continue to win and score points despite their obvious offensive flaws.
LaFleur's most notable accomplishment could be the work he did last year where, over a five-game stretch, the Jets started four different quarterbacks and still ranked first in the NFL in yards per game.
The Jets seem to have finally found a capable and highly-regarded offensive coordinator. Mike LaFleur's future appears bright, whether with the Jets or not.