Packers believe they've 'found a gem' in Matt LaFleur

Lynette Rowe
January 13, 2019

It was 2015 and LaFleur was the 35-year-old first-year quarterbacks coach of the Atlanta Falcons, where Matt Ryan was about to begin his eighth season as an National Football League starter and had three Pro Bowls on his resume.

"I can not wait to get to work with him", LaFleur said of Rodgers. "I can tell he's a passionate guy, and he wants to win".

"I think we've found a gem in Matt and we're really excited about the future under his leadership".

When Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy dialed Matt LaFleur's cellphone Monday afternoon to offer him the job as Packers head coach, Murphy thought he lost the connection a few seconds after breaking the news to the former Titans offensive coordinator. Before that, they had met with Chuck Pagano, Jim Caldwell and Packers interim coach Joe Philbin. "We're also excited about the person - he is bright with a great work ethic and a ideal fit for Green Bay and the organisation".

"We don't go through this all the time like the Bears do".

In Tennessee, LaFleur had a good recognition for what coach Mike Vrabel and defensive coordinator Dean Pees were doing on their end, and the OC utilized a complementary game plan.

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Given all that has been made about Rodgers and how hard he can be to coach, it's no wonder that Wednesday's introductory press conference with LaFleur was dominated by questions about how he will make it work with Rodgers. So I think we're in alignment there because, like I said before, this game is about winning. LaFleur began his coaching career in 2003 as an offensive assistant at Saginaw Valley State, the school he played quarterback for and guided to three straight NCAA Division II playoff appearances. "So in my mind, that was something that as we went through the process, was kind of in the back of my mind, is there something we can do that can kind of shake people up so we don't have the complacency".

The 32-year old coach could be getting a promotion if he heads to Green Bay as the team's special teams coordinator. "We're excited to get started". "That's how we're going to build this thing". He has a great history with QBs including Matt Ryan's MVP season and Jared Goff.

The key to it all will be the relationship between the quarterback and playcaller.

With a sterling reputation and a great history with QBs, the Packers on first glance have knocked it out of the park with their fifteenth head coach.

Shortly after the phone call ended with Rodgers, LaFleur's phone rang again.

LaFleur was in the auto at the time.

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