Jets OC Mike LaFleur to call plays from the sideline during regular season
Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur confirmed Thursday that he will call plays from the sideline throughout the regular season.
LaFleur observed New York’s Green and White Scrimmage from the MetLife Stadium coach’s box, but he spent the entire preseason calling plays on the sideline. That will continue against the Panthers on Sunday afternoon, as it gives him a more direct line of communication with Zach Wilson and Mike White.
“I did the three games down on the field and whether I was up in the box or on the field, I was just trying to kind of figure out what I would be most comfortable with,” LaFleur said. “Obviously, I never went upstairs, but I feel really good down on the sideline, being able to be face to face with the quarterbacks and basically the whole offense.”
The Jets looked like a much-improved team offensively with LaFleur calling the shots during the preseason. Only so much stock can be put into exhibition results, but LaFleur’s west coast offense was a breath of fresh air for New York after two seasons of offensive incompetence under Adam Gase and Dowell Loggains.
All eyes will be on LaFleur’s offense when the Jets begin the 2021 season this weekend. How will LaFleur utilize the ground game to open up play-action opportunities for Zach Wilson? Which wide receivers will he frequently scheme to get open? All of these questions will be answered against the Panthers — with LaFleur on the sideline to guide his unit through the ups and downs instead of through a phone from a perch above the field of play.
“We’re excited to go out and finally see these players play,” LaFleur said. “It’s a long, long but necessary offseason in terms of just the first year and the amount of stuff you put on these players and what we’re asking in terms of our standard and learning the Xs and Os of it.
“Just finally, to go out there in a real Sunday gameday environment, see the starters go for 60 straight minutes against a very tough opponent, I guess that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.”