Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur isn’t setting the league on fire during his first season calling plays in the NFL, but that hasn’t stopped his name from popping up as a possible replacement for Hue Jackson as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
LaFleur came to Nashville this past off-season after serving as the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator in 2017 (head coach Sean McVay called the plays), but he’s yet to find much success. Through seven games this season, the Titans are averaging only 15.1 points per game (30th in the NFL).
Despite his lack of success, Sporting News still listed LaFleur as one of six coaches that could land in Cleveland.
Potential Browns coaching replacements for Hue Jackson:
1. John DeFilippo
2. Matt LaFleur
3. Dave Toub
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) October 29, 2018
LaFleur doesn’t seem like a great candidate for the Browns’ job, but I wouldn’t put anything pass Cleveland. They’ll definitely find a way to make this coaching search more difficult than it should be. Which is why it wouldn’t shock me if LaFleur gets a legitimate look from them.
But I think it would be a terrible idea for LaFleur to pursue the job.
I think it’s pretty obvious from watching the Titans’ offense this season that LaFleur still has a lot of growing to do as an offensive coordinator. While it’s true that you don’t have to be a great coordinator to be a good head coach, it certainly helps.
Look at Sean McVay for example. The offense in Los Angeles is 100 percent his offense. If the Browns hire LaFleur, they’d be running his offense. Why else would a team bring in an offensive coordinator as a head coach if they didn’t want to utilize that coach’s offensive philosophy?
At this point, I’m not sure what a LaFleur offense even is. The Titans don’t have much of an offensive identity yet this season. If LaFleur went to Cleveland without an established offensive plan, he’d instantly be set up for failure. And that would set his coaching career back several years.
It seems like some young coaches jump at head coaching jobs a bit too soon. Sometimes it works out, but there are more Josh McDaniels in the NFL then there are Sean McVays.
LaFleur needs to be patient. He needs to make an impact in Nashville before he worries about moving on to the next big thing. I believe LaFleur is a bright guy. And I don’t think the Titans’ offensive woes this season are indicative of who he can be as a coach.
But the time for a head coaching job is not now for LaFleur. Especially in Cleveland, where it’s going to take a miracle to turn that franchise around.
Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports