A couple days ago the Packers hired former Titans OC Matt LaFleur. Still seems odd that for the first time in my lifetime I am not referring to a Packers coach with the first name Mike. Anyway, over the course of the past 48 hours much media coverage has been out on the newest hire. Here are some interesting points I have heard along with what I believe should be the perception of LaFleur.
LaFleur is young. At age 39 he is one of the youngest coaches in the NFL. Its becoming the new “cool thing” in sports to hire young coaches. Every team wants to get the next Sean McVay. The thing is that for every Sean McVay there are a multitude of Lane Kiffins. Colin Cowerd mentioned on his radio show “The Herd” that if you look at the remaining coaches left in the playoffs, 7 of the 8 are above the age of 50. Only Sean McVay is not. LaFleur has been getting raves from certain media outlets pointing out that he was the OC for the Rams when they were a top offense, how he was the QB coach for the prolific offense in Atlanta in 2015-2016, and how he has the offensive mind to make the Packers offense a force again. Well over the course of those years hes had pretty easy QBs to deal with. Matt Ryan, Jared Goff, Marcus Mariota. None of those QBs invoke drama. Then there is Aaron Rodgers. This is the guy who LaFleur needs to be paired with and get along. Rodgers is unlike the other three. No doubt he has much more talent. The key will be if LaFleur can channel that talent by being able to work with him. Rodgers ran a great head coach in Mike McCarthy out of town. Hes no cupcake to deal with. That being said leadership should be a top trait of this coach. Here is something mentioned on the Herd referring to Lafleur’s leadership:
So what was the reason for choosing LaFleur over the likes of Jim Caldwell or Chuck Pagano? Here is a quote from GM Murphy who said that “LaFleur was the most prepared candidate. He knew the Packers’ roster and coaches. And his personality meshed with the interviewers.” He fits the culture apparently which is good. No doubt there needs to be a good relationship between the front office and head coach. What needs to be seen is his relationship with Rodgers. In his interview with the team LaFleur said, ” I’ll tell you what, I cannot wait to work with him. I think he’s excited. There’s a lot of work to be done in front of us, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity. ” Lets hope that this isn’t just a honeymoon phase. Lets hope that this relationship can be strong even when they have disagreements. Like I said, it didn’t turn out too well for the last coach to have a disagreement with Rodgers.
This to me appears to be a hire that goes along with the rest of the league. Hoping that this is the next Sean McVay. Hoping that a young offensive mind can rejuvenate the offense. And it very much may work. Chuck Pagano or Jim Caldwell are proven. In the league the more experienced guys are still the safest bet. McVay has been responsible now for a handful of head coaching hires. We will see if LaFleur can deliver.