The New York Jets may have parted ways with former offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur but his time with the team has certainly left a difficult mark on the organization.
According to Zack Rosenblatt of the Athletic, LaFleur had grown frustrated with the play of quarterback Zach Wilson and felt that the offense would be better suited with backups Joe Flacco or Mike White leading the charge.
New York’s offense ranked 25th in the league in total yards and 15th in passing with the combined numbers coming from Wilson, White, and Flacco. The former second-overall pick out of BYU completed just 55% of his passes in 2022 and threw more interceptions than touchdowns.
A 7-10 finish dampened the positive strides the team as a whole took in the second year with Robert Saleh. The offense in particular struggled down the stretch. The Jets did not record an offensive touchdown in each of the last three weeks of the season: a dubious distinction that ultimately led to the coach’s dismissal.
Before leaving the team, LaFleur acknowledged that some of the struggles for Wilson fell on the coaching staff saying “Through two years we haven’t done our job with him. Any player that isn’t producing to the level they are capable of, as a coach you failed them.”
Per Rosenblatt though, the struggles between LaFleur and Wilson went back to his rookie season. While the offensive system was called “needlessly complicated” LaFleur felt more frustrated and reportedly “would tell people how much more effective the offense looked” with other quarterbacks.
While the Athletic confirmed from multiple people within the Jets’ organization that Saleh was not forced to fire the offensive coordinator that came with him from San Francisco, the lack of development on offense and the struggles to end the season played a role in the Jets looking for a new play-caller.
New York’s 2023 offseason concerns will now be focused on replacing LaFleur and Wilson in some capacity. The organization has already confirmed they are willing to spend money on a veteran quarterback but who that quarterback works with could determine just how good Wilson’s replacement is.
And while LaFleur has publicly said much of Wilson’s failing fall with the coaching staff, it appears that the Jets’ former OC was inclined to part ways with him much earlier in his tenure.