Mike LaFleur has only been on the ground in Los Angeles for five days. But dressed in a Royal and Sol quarter-zip, he's already formed at least one useful habit that will serve him well as a member of the Rams.
L.A.'s new offensive coordinator makes reference to his time "up north," but that's about as close as he gets to saying "San Francisco" or "49ers" during our 15-minute sit-down at the team facility in Thousand Oaks.
"I've got a lot of respect for what they do up there and a lot of people in those buildings," said LaFleur, who was the passing game coordinator for four seasons in Santa Clara before going with Robert Saleh to New York to run the Jets offense. "But I'm in this building now, and happy to be here."
The complexion of the division has changed significantly since 2020, when LaFleur last faced the Rams.
In 2023, Arizona will have an entirely new coaching staff. San Francisco is working to replace Houston head coach DeMeco Ryans on defense. And Seattle changed defensive coordinators a year ago.
LaFleur turns 36 next month, and by then, he and a revamped Rams staff will be well underway plotting a course to recapture the NFC West crown.
"When I thought about what I wanted next, right after the Jets, there was a list that I professionally did in my head and (the opportunity with the Rams) checked all the boxes immediately."
In this episode of Rams Revealed – which we'll count as our first of the new campaign – LaFleur discusses how even his folks mistakenly call him "Matt" on occasion, and we share a few reflections on his older brother's year with Los Angeles. We also put some closing thoughts on his tenure in New York, how he plans to support McVay going into his seventh year as the head coach, and what direction the Rams offense might go in 2023.
For more on his connection to McVay's coaching tree, we also invite you to check out Stu Jackson’s column on LaFleur's arrival in Los Angeles.