There were plenty of questions about first-year Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur early in the season, when the offense looked awful.
But LaFleur has had a strong second half of the season and has come into his own as a play-caller. The offense has jumped to 21st in the NFL in yards per game (331.2) and the unit had four straight 300-yard games before last week’s 266-yard performance against the Texans.
Even during that game in Houston, LaFleur seemed to press the right buttons on two long touchdown drives, creating easy throws for rookie quarterback Zach Wilson and leaning on the running game. LaFleur looks more comfortable in December than he did in September.
“I think you naturally get more comfortable, right?” LaFleur said. “And not just on Sunday, but Monday through Saturday, how to approach the guys in terms of, not that I’ve ever kind of worried about that, but again just what the message has to be for this team, rather for this unit I should say, [head coach Robert] Saleh’s got the ultimate message. But the pulse of what our offense is going through, the goods and the bad. And just trying to push the right buttons for each individual on our offense. So, getting more and more comfortable but, again, I think it’s just our guys just getting more and more comfortable and us starting to gel a little bit.”
LaFleur has shown creativity with some trick plays lately after not calling any early in the year.
“We’ve always, maybe not to the extent, but we’ve always had those plays up,” LaFleur said. “It’s about when to call them and getting in rhythm. And for the last five, six weeks, whatever it’s been, we’ve sustained drives and we’ve had enough plays to be able to be able to put ourselves in a position to call whatever play we think is good. And a lot of the plays aren’t going to be good, that’s just the way this league works. But again, I think it’s just being able to sustain, get enough plays, get a defense a little bit on their heels, and then plays that we feel our players can go out and be successful with.”