Mike LaFleur

Mike White May Remain Jets’ QB1 For Remainder Of Season

In the wake of his decision to bench quarterback Zach Wilson, Jets head coach Robert Saleh said that he intends to reinsert Wilson into the starting lineup at some point this season. But as Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports writes, Wilson is unlikely to return to the field before Week 15 (barring injury), and if the team remains in playoff contention with Mike White under center, Wilson can probably expect to stay on the sidelines for the rest of the year.

Joe Flacco, who started the first three games of the 2022 campaign while Wilson was battling knee trouble, will serve as White’s backup for Sunday’s Week 12 matchup with the Bears, so he will get the nod if White should get injured during the Chicago contest. If White sustains a lingering injury while New York remains in the playoff hunt, Saleh could be faced with a difficult Flacco vs. Wilson decision, one that he would obviously prefer to avoid.

Like Jones, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says that White will remain the QB1 if the Jets are winning with him under center. A successful run from White would be a boon to Gang Green’s playoff chances this year, though Cimini believes it would also complicate the team’s offseason plans. Wilson has yet to start more than seven games in a row in his young career, and at this point, it’s probably premature to write off his chances to become a legitimate NFL starter. Still, the 6-4 Jets are looking to solidify their status as contenders for the foreseeable future, and they need to know if Wilson will be part of that future or if they need to begin looking elsewhere.

New York may also need to make a decision on offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur this offseason. As Cimini writes, Wilson’s struggles are LaFleur’s struggles, and Saleh’s express acknowledgement of Wilson’s deteriorating mechanics is not a good look for LaFleur or quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese.

“I truly believe it starts with me and ends with me, so I’ve got to figure out a way to reset [Wilson], get him back to playing fundamentally sound football and, more importantly, just consistent football, because he’s done some really good things,” LaFleur said. “But I haven’t done a good enough job to get the consistency out of him. So that starts and ends with me.”

According to Jones, the team believes Wilson has turned an emotional corner, as evidenced by the apologies he recently issued to his teammates. Whether or not he has the chance to reestablish himself on the field this year will depend in large part on White’s performance in the coming weeks.

WR Elijah Moore Asks Jets For Trade

OCTOBER 21: While reaffirming the Jets’ no-trade stance here, Saleh said the second-year wide receiver will not be active for Sunday’s game against the Broncos. Saleh said this situation reached a boiling point, with Cimini noting Moore and LaFleur engaged in a heated argument (Twitter link). Although Moore is back at the Jets’ facility, he will not practice Friday.

OCTOBER 20: A year after drafting Elijah Moore in the second round, the Jets have run into an issue with the talented young wideout. Moore is not happy with his role in Mike LaFleur‘s offense and wants out.

Moore has asked the Jets to trade him, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This comes after Moore made some cryptic comments on social media recently. The Jets excused Moore from practice Thursday, calling it a personal day. There appears more to the nature of Moore’s absence now. Moore’s behavior Thursday displeased Jets brass, according to ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini (on Twitter).

The Jets do not plan to honor Moore’s request, Rapoport adds, but the resurgent team suddenly has an aerial-attack problem. Moore’s targets have dipped since Zach Wilson retook the quarterbacking reins. Joe Flacco targeted Moore 21 times during the Jets’ first three games; Wilson has thrown his way eight. The former Ole Miss wideout has caught just one pass over the past two weeks, though the Jets have not attempted as many passes in the games Wilson has started.

Addressing Moore’s lack of targets Thursday, Wilson called Moore “a great player” and noted (via Cimini, on Twitter) there were not a lot of opportunities last week — a Jets runaway upset win but one in which Moore caught zero passes. After the Jets’ 27-10 win over the Packers, Moore tweeted, “Just know I don’t understand either.” Wilson completed just 10 passes. Moore deleted the tweet, and Robert Saleh spoke with the disgruntled receiver about it.

We’re all entitled to mistakes,” Saleh said during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York (via Cimini). “I know where his heart is. I know how he is when he walks in the building. I know how hard he works. I know how good a teammate he’s been. You know, sometimes mistakes happen, but I know where his heart is. That’s the important thing.”

Moore’s request comes nearly two months after Denzel Mims requested to be moved. The Jets discussed Mims with other teams but ultimately held onto the 2020 second-round pick. Mims does not have much of a role in New York’s offense. Moore does. He has played 83% of the Jets’ offensive snaps this season.

Last year, Moore looked like a long-term receiver in Gang Green’s attack. As the Jets cycled through quarterbacks, Moore caught 43 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns. He compiled those numbers despite missing six games, seeing his season halted by a quadriceps injury.

The Jets reconvened for their offseason program with more firepower at this position, having drafted Garrett Wilson 10th overall. This came after they were connected to just about every contract-seeking wideout — from Tyreek Hill to Amari Cooper to Deebo Samuel to D.K. Metcalf to A.J. Brown — this offseason. Wilson joined Moore, Corey Davis and the re-signed Braxton Berrios as Gang Green’s top targets. Thus far this season, Moore’s 203 receiving yards are just fifth on the team. Davis leads the way with 351, while Wilson has accumulated 290. The team also has a better rushing attack than it did last season, with second-round pick Breece Hall becoming a central figure for the Jets’ offense.

For now, it appears Moore will need to hope his targets increase in the coming weeks. He is short on options. The Jets have the 5-foot-10 pass catcher under contract through 2024.

Dolphins Hire Mike McDaniel As Head Coach

The Dolphins have announced that they’ve agreed to terms to make 49ers’ offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel their next head coach (Twitter).

McDaniel recently had his second interview with Miami on Friday. Fox Sports Writer Peter Schrager reported that the interview lasted for 10 hours.
McDaniel was one of two candidates to receive a second interview with the Dolphins as Cowboys’ offensive coordinator Kellen Moore interviewed yesterday. With Moore not getting the job, it looks like Dallas will keep both coordinators as Moore has not been mentioned as a contender for the Saints’ or Texans’ jobs and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has informed teams that he is remaining in Dallas.

McDaniel is a longtime Kyle Shanahan-staffer, following Shanahan from Atlanta to San Francisco. Following Mike LaFleur‘s departure to join Robert Saleh on the Jets, McDaniel was promoted to offensive coordinator.

The 2021 NFL season was McDaniel’s first and only year as an offensive coordinator at any level. He first entered the NFL as an intern for the Broncos in 2004. He spent three years as an offensive assistant in Houston before taking the position of running backs coach for Sacramento’s short-lived UFL team. McDaniel re-entered the NFL ranks an an offensive assistant in Washington for two years before getting promoted to wide receivers coach. He spent one season in that position in Washington followed by a season holding the same position in Cleveland before heading to Atlanta to become an offensive assistant under Shanahan.

The 38-year-old’s rise has been meteoric since joining Shanahan. After two years in Atlanta, McDaniel became Shanahan’s run game coordinator in San Francisco for four seasons before finally getting his shot last year at offensive coordinator. McDaniel didn’t call plays for the 49ers, but he did draw up the running plays and coordinate a running game that ranked in the top-10 despite losing Raheem Mostert in Week 1 and missing Elijah Mitchell for 6 games this year.

With Brian Flores‘ lawsuit against the NFL, Dolphins, Giants, and Broncos alleging racial discrimination, much attention will likely be paid to the fact that McDaniel identifies as multiracial, making him the first minority coaching candidate to be hired in this year’s cycle. The 49ers will receive two third-round compensatory picks as a result of the hire.

With Miami securing their man, there are now only two teams remaining who are without a head coach: the Texans and Saints. Keep up with the last remaining coaching searches on our 2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Jets Hire Mike LaFleur As OC

Robert Saleh is the Jets’ new head coach, and he’s taking his SF friends with him. 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur will serve as his new offensive coordinator, as Mike Silver of NFL.com tweets. Furthermore, Niners offensive line coach John Benton will take on the same job with the Jets while also managing the run game. 

[RELATED: Jets Hire Robert Saleh]

Saleh will also hire at least two more Niners offensive assistants — Greg Knapp has been tapped as the QB coach while Rob Calabrese will be the pass game specialist for Gang Green.

There were seven vacancies in this cycle, and six of those teams requested interviews with Saleh. The Jets came away with the 41-year-old, who is regarded as one of the league’s sharpest defensive minds. Under Saleh’s watch, the 49ers surrendered just 169.2 passing yards per contest in 2019. And, this past year, his unit had the fifth lowest total in total yards surrendered.

The Jets gave Saleh the freedom to build his own staff, something that they were reluctant to do for certain candidates in their last search. For LaFleur, it’s a chance to spread his wings — he’s been with Shanahan since 2014, dating back to his internship with the Browns.

49ers Hire DeMeco Ryans As DC, Mike McDaniel As OC

The 49ers have officially promoted inside linebackers coach DeMeco Ryans to defensive coordinator. On the other side of the ball, they’re bumping run game coordinator Mike McDaniel to offensive coordinator, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

[RELATED: 49ers Re-Sign Josh Johnson]

Ryans takes over for former DC Robert Saleh, who has agreed to become the Jets’ new head coach. Many believed that Saleh would try to take Ryans with him to the East Coast, but the 49ers didn’t want to let Ryans get away. Given the work he has done with LBs Dre Greenlaw, Fred Warner, and Azeez Al-Shaair, the young assistant was a natural fit for the role.

McDaniel, meanwhile, takes over for Mike LaFleur, who will serve as Saleh’s OC in New York. McDaniel has worked with Kyle Shanahan at multiple stops and his profile has grown larger over the years. He was a candidate in the Browns’ most recent head coaching search and the Dolphins were also eyeing him as an OC candidate in this cycle.

Eagles To Interview Robert Saleh

The Eagles are a bit behind the curve after their late firing of Doug Pederson, so they don’t have any time to waste as they move forward in their unexpected coaching search. We’ve already heard they’re interested in luring Lincoln Riley from the college ranks, they’ve requested interviews with Todd Bowles and Arthur Smith, and now we’ve got another candidate on their radar.

Philadelphia has requested an interview with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. After going through a second Jets interview Wednesday, Saleh is on his way to Philly and will begin interviewing with the team tonight, Ian Rapoport and Peter Schrager of the NFL Network note (Twitter links).

Saleh has been a hot name, getting linked to pretty much every open job. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie indicated at his press conference Monday that he usually prefers a quarterback guru as head coach, but he clearly isn’t married to that idea.

To that end, we also have some additional details on what a potential Saleh coaching staff would look like, via this tweet from Peter Schrager of NFL Network. Schrager writes that the belief around the league is that Saleh would bring a 49ers offensive assistant with him to be his OC wherever he goes, and that they would seek to implement a “Shanahan”-style offense.

That would mean a heavy run and play-action scheme. Schrager specifically highlights Mike LaFleur and Mike McDaniel as names to watch on that front. McDaniel is the 49ers’ run game coordinator who has coached under Kyle Shanahan for most of the past decade, while LaFleur is the passing game coordinator who has been with Shanahan since 2014 with the Browns when he was an offensive intern. He’s also the younger brother of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.

49ers Extend Passing Game Coordinator Mike LaFleur

Mike LaFleur is coaching in the Super Bowl Sunday, and no matter what happens he’ll be back in San Francisco next year. The 49ers have extended their passing game coordinator, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

LaFleur had been on an expiring contract, and he won’t be hitting the open market now. He’s the younger brother of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, and Schefter writes that his brother had wanted him to join his staff in Green Bay. He bested his brother in the NFC Championship game, and now the LaFleurs won’t be joining forces. The younger LaFleur was also apparently a candidate to become Cleveland’s offensive coordinator.

He got his coaching start in the college ranks, and then jumped to the NFL to serve under Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta before following him to San Francisco. Several Shanahan assistants drew interest from other teams this offseason, including LaFleur, running game coordinator Mike McDaniel, and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. With all the success Shanahan has been having, he likely won’t be able to keep his staff together much longer.

Browns Hire Chad O’Shea As WR Coach; Latest On OC/DC Search

The Browns have hired former Dolphins OC Chad O’Shea as their new WR coach and passing game coordinator, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. O’Shea lasted one year in Miami and drew some criticism for installing an overly complex offense, and he was recently fired in favor of spread offense guru Chan Gailey.

But despite the talent limitations on Miami’s offense, the team did perform reasonably well down the stretch and actually ranked in the top-10 in passing offense and top-15 in scoring offense after Ryan Fitzpatrick reentered the starting lineup in Week 7. As such, O’Shea’s dismissal came as something of a surprise, though recent reports indicated that, while he is an excellent receivers coach, he is not a great coordinator.

O’Shea spent 10 years as the Patriots’ WR coach, so he comes to Cleveland with plenty of experience. He will also have a great deal of talent to work with, and he will be tasked with continuing to get the most out of Jarvis Landry while also helping Odell Beckham Jr. return to prominence. As passing game coordinator, he will also help develop game plans for Baker Mayfield, who struggled in his sophomore campaign but who still has plenty of potential.

As for the Browns’ vacant offensive coordinator post, Rapoport says the team has interest in 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur and run game coordinator Mike McDaniel. Cleveland had some interest in both men for their head coaching post but never requested interviews with them. The Browns may not request OC interviews either, because San Francisco is unlikely to grant such requests. The Browns may also go without an official OC given new head coach Kevin Stefanski‘s offensive prowess.

Unlike LaFleur and McDaniel, 49ers passing game coordinator/defensive backs coach Joe Woods is not under contract through 2020, so he can join the Browns if he so chooses. We recently heard that Cleveland had narrowed its defensive coordinator search to Woods and incumbent Steve Wilks, though Rapoport says Wade Phillips remains a possibility as well.

Latest On Browns’ HC Search

Following their Thursday interview with Mike McCarthy, Browns brass will head to Santa Clara, Calif., to meet with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link).

Saleh’s interview has now been scheduled for Saturday. The third-year San Francisco DC has never interviewed for a head coaching post and is thus far not connected to the other two coaching vacancies. However, one way the Browns may be considering going is a staff featuring multiple 49ers assistants.

Cleveland is also interested in 49ers offensive assistants Mike McDaniel and Mike LaFleur, each a Kyle Shanahan lieutenant at multiple stops. Saleh appears to be the San Francisco candidate the Browns are zeroing in on, but if the team hires the fiery DC, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets that either LaFleur or McDaniel would then be a candidate to become the Browns’ offensive coordinator. HC interviews with McDaniel and LaFleur are believed to be on the docket, though it’s not known yet when they will occur.

Both were with Shanahan in Cleveland in 2014. Shanahan spent one season as the Browns’ OC and since took LaFleur and McDaniel to Atlanta and San Francisco. They serve as the 49ers’ pass- and run-game coordinators, respectively.

Shanahan blocked Mike LaFleur from joining brother Matt in Green Bay last year but let assistant Rich Scangarello defect to Denver because the Broncos were offering play-calling responsibilities. With Saleh being a defensive-minded coach, the Browns would then hand over their play-calling reins to whomever they hire as OC.

Latest On Browns’ Head Coaching Search

The Browns’ GM search is underway. On Tuesday, the Browns fired John Dorsey (or, mutually agreed to part ways with the veteran exec, depending on who you ask).

Before that, the Browns axed first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens. After that, the Browns wasted little time in requesting interviews. Here’s the latest on the names being considered for the job:

  • 49ers’ run game coordinator Mike McDaniel is likely to interview with the Browns, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). No date has been set yet, but McDaniel figures to be one of three SF coaches to get a look. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and passing-game coordinator Mike LaFleur will also reportedly be interviewed this weekend.
  • In addition to that Niners trio, the Browns have also requested an interview with Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, as Schefter tweets. It’s shaping up to be a busy bye week for Bienemy, who has also drawn interest from the Panthers and Giants.