The feeling won’t go away. Matt LaFleur, the
As quarterbacks coach for the
And the aftermath.
"I was grieving for a couple days, there's no doubt about it," LaFleur said Thursday when asked whether he has been able to move past the loss, "but if you live in the past you're not going to go anywhere with your future."
LaFleur began looking ahead this week when he arrived in Thousand Oaks to join new Coach Sean McVay's staff.
Much like McVay, at 31 the youngest coach in modern
After coaching quarterbacks for the Falcons,
McVay said last week that he developed "a really close relationship" with LaFleur during their years working together in Washington.
"Detail oriented, good communicator, been around some of the most productive offenses over the last couple of years," McVay said. "You look at what Atlanta was able to do. A lot of the things that we do philosophically will be very similar."
McVay, the Redskins offensive coordinator and play-caller the last three seasons, will call plays this season as the Rams attempt to rebound from a 4-12 finish and try to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
During an interview with a small group of reporters at the Rams' training facility, LaFleur said he would "help organize and kind of like set the table" for McVay.
"If he feels comfortable with me doing it, eventually, then maybe we'll go that route," LaFleur said of calling plays. "We gotta lay the foundation first."
LaFleur, along with McVay and quarterbacks coach Greg Olson, will be part of a triumvirate focused on developing quarterback
LaFleur worked the last two years in Atlanta with nine-year veteran
LaFleur got a close-up look at Goff during the 2016 NFL scouting combine.
"He was pretty impressive," LaFleur said.
In December, LaFleur was focused on the Rams’ defense before and during the Falcons’ 42-14 rout at the Coliseum in what proved to be
LaFleur has begun to intensely evaluate Goff, who passed for five touchdowns, with seven interceptions, in seven winless starts.
"From what I've seen on tape, he's got some of the key attributes that you always look for in a quarterback. He's a natural thrower," LaFleur said. "You have to be able to hang in there in some uncomfortable pockets and some uncomfortable situations where you're going to take a hit and deliver the football. He's proven that he'll do that."
LaFleur said Goff was "experimenting" this off-season with quarterback trainers Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, who have aided Ryan, Tom Brady and others with their mechanics and conditioning.
"I was happy to hear it because I have seen the benefits," LaFleur said. "What those guys do is pretty valuable, and it's not always obviously [possible] with the time constraints that we can work with these guys."
Along with assessing Goff, LaFleur is evaluating other offensive personnel as the Rams prepare for the start of free agency and the draft. He and fellow coaches must find ways to improve an offense that ranked as the NFL's worst the last two seasons.
The new system is expected to include many of the elements that drove the Falcons' and Redskins' high-powered attacks in recent seasons.
"It truly will be a system that is going to marry the run with the pass," LaFleur said.
Last season the Rams' offensive line failed to spring running back Todd Gurley, the NFL's offensive rookie of the year in 2015.
"First and foremost, you've got to be committed to it," LaFleur said of the running game. "And you've got to have a system in place that you believe in. And I think if you can get that running game going, everything plays off each other.
"If you get your running game going, your passing game is going to be better."
The Rams have not had a winning season since 2003. They appear a long way from a Super Bowl appearance.
LaFleur is excited about moving forward from his Super Bowl experience.
"As bad as it hurt to lose that game I definitely want to get back there, win, lose or draw," he said. "Hopefully next time we're back there, it's a lot better feeling."