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Three Things to Know about Rams OC Matt LaFleur

Posted Feb 8, 2017

The Rams have hired former Falcons QBs coach Matt LaFleur to be their offensive coordinator.

While we’ve known for a while Rams head coach Sean McVay tapped Wade Phillips to be the club’s defensive coordinator, Los Angeles announced the rest of the team’s staff on Wednesday evening. With that, here are three things to know about the Rams’ new offensive coordinator, Matt LaFleur.

1) Plenty of experience working with QBs

LaFleur, 37, is entering his first offensive coordinator role after a successful stint as the Falcons’ quarterbacks coach. Spending the 2015 and 2016 seasons in Atlanta, LaFleur helped lead quarterback Matt Ryan to his 2016 MVP season, as he reached career highs in yards (4,944), touchdowns (38), completion percentage (69.9), yards per attempt (9.3), passer rating (117.1), and a career low in interceptions (seven).

While McVay has said he will call plays for Los Angeles in 2017, becoming the Rams’ offensive coordinator is a natural step in LaFleur’s career progression.

2) Has a history with McVay

To this point, all of LaFleur’s NFL experience has come working under new 49ers head coach — and former Falcons offensive coordinator — Kyle Shanahan. That began in 2008, as LaFleur was hired as the Texans offensive quality control coach with Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator.

But LaFleur’s path crossed with that of McVay at Shanahan’s next stop, Washington, where the two spent four years on the same staff. In 2010, head coach Mike Shanahan hired his son, Kyle, to be the team’s offensive coordinator. And he brought LaFleur with him from Houston to be Washington’s quarterbacks coach. Under his tutelage, quarterback Robert Griffin III was named 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year after passing for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns, and just five interceptions — compiling the league’s lowest interceptions rate (1.3 percent). Griffin also rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns that season.

In those four years, McVay and LaFleur struck up a friendship, one that should only help Los Angeles develop its offense.

3) Former college quarterback and wide receiver

LaFleur began his collegiate career as a wide receiver for Western Michigan before transferring to Saginaw Valley State to play quarterback. There, he helped lead SVSU to one Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title and the NCAA Division II playoffs all three years he played.

He began his coaching career at both schools where he played, starting as an offensive assistant at SVSU in 2003 before spending 2004-2005 as an offensive assistant for Western Michigan under current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. He went back to work under Kelly in 2014, coaching the Fighting Irish quarterbacks.