This is one in a series of articles that will also appear in the New York Jets 2022 Yearbook, which will be published later this summer.
Mike LaFleur, as a first-year NFL play-caller in 2021, coordinated a Jets offense that improved throughout the season. The Jets ranked No. 32 in the league in both points scored and total yards gained through their first six games, but in their next 10 games combined they were 14th in points and sixth in yards.
"Some people don't want to do this and I wanted to see what kind of heart rate I'd have when I got in front of the room on a Monday after we didn't play well," LaFleur said. "You're in front of 30 or so grown men that want to figure out how we are going to win in this league. When you win in this league, it suits everybody, most importantly the players. When you're not winning, as a leader and as a coordinator, you have to figure that out and figure out verbally how to talk to them, motivate them and get them to believe."
LaFleur, who worked under 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan from 2014-20, was eager to return for year two with the Green & White, and it's hard to blame him with the offseason additions.
General manager Joe Douglas improved almost every position on offense. He signed Pro Bowl LG Laken Tomlinson and TEs C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin before using a top-10 pick at wideout on Garrett Wilson and selecting arguably the draft's top RB in Breece Hall. All these additions will add to an already promising young nucleus that includes QB Zach Wilson, RG Alijah Vera-Tucker, WR Elijah Moore and RB Michael Carter.
"There is only one ball and I'm sure we'll have that conversation in the room at some point," LaFleur said. "Ultimately, if you have the right guys, organically, it will all figure itself out and they'll understand. Guys just want to move the ball and have success, you want to provide them with that success. But each and every week could be a bit different.
"That's a very good problem to have. We're young, guys are still learning how to play, but we've got pieces to work with and it will be a fun challenge getting this thing to mesh together."