THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Seven days. That's how much time Matt LaFleur had to get over a stinging Super Bowl LI defeat and move on to the new chapter in his life -- as offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams.
LaFleur, who was quarterbacks coach for the Atlanta Falcons when they suffered a 34-28 loss to the New England Patriots in overtime on Feb. 5, spent some much-needed time with his wife and children last week.
He tried his best to forget about the 28-3 lead his Falcons blew, but he failed.
"I don’t think it’s ever going to leave me, to be honest with you," LaFleur said while meeting with Rams beat reporters on Thursday. "I was grieving for a couple days, there’s no doubt about it. But if you live in the past, you’re not going to go anywhere with your future."
LaFleur was quarterbacks coach with the Redskins from 2010 to '13, while the Rams' new head coach, 31-year-old Sean McVay, coached tight ends. LaFleur coached quarterback Everett Golson at Notre Dame in 2014, then coached Matt Ryan with the Falcons from 2015 to '16, when Ryan won MVP. McVay will call the offensive plays for the Rams in 2017, so LaFleur said his role will consist of trying to "organize and kind of set the table for Sean because he's not always going to be able to be with us."
Under Shanahan, the Falcons' offense scored 540 points during the regular season, tied with the 2000 St. Louis Rams -- nicknamed "The Greatest Show On Turf" -- for the eighth-most points in NFL history. But Shanahan has taken a lot of heat in recent weeks for his aggressive playcalling while holding a sizable lead late in Super Bowl LI, with many believing it ultimately cost his team a championship.
"It is what it is," LaFleur said. "Unfortunately, we’re in a profession, and if you’ve got thin skin, you’re not going to last very long. So you take the good with the bad. There was a lot of good this year [from the Falcons]. I don’t second-guess anything [Shanahan] did for one second. That’s how we played all year long. We were aggressive. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. And that’s the way it is. But I think it’s funny when people do criticize him. We put up ungodly numbers."