January 18, 2019

Packers hire LaFleur as head coach

13 January 2019, 09:12 | Pamela Mathis

Packers hiring Matt LaFleur not Todd Monken could have big impact on Bengals

Packers hiring Matt LaFleur not Todd Monken could have big impact on Bengals

The Packers on Tuesday hired Matt LaFleur, 39, to be their next head coach.

"He has the unique combination of a quiet confidence but yet a humility", Murphy said. Joe Philbin went 2-2 as Green Bay's interim coach.

Immediately following LaFleur's interview, Murphy, Gutekunst and Ball all agreed he was the top candidate to do just that, and their feelings didn't change after sleeping on it. That's when Gutekunst told the franchise quarterback to go ahead and reach out to LaFleur.

It's also an offense Rodgers spoke admiringly of during the season. His two sons sat quietly next to his wife. LaFleur stepped in and said something about Ryan's balance. They wanted a coach who would hold players accountable. "Hopefully he gets along well with our quarterback, and hopefully we'll have a winning team", said Stu Adair, who has been a Packers fan for 83 years. 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.

"This is an unbelievable place", said LaFleur. It is a challenge. And if there's one thing I can say in regards to a guy like Aaron, if you give Aaron time and you are unpredictable, he's going to excel, because we all know the talent he has. Rodgers is a hard player to coach because he is extremely smart and independent. Mike McCarthy, apparently he and Rodgers didn't have the best of relationships and Rodgers did not have a very good year last year. He thinks they are both already on the same page.

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Brandon Carwile: LaFleur fits the mold for the new wave of successful National Football League coaches.

In Tennessee, LaFleur was given a backfield committee of Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry, and as the play-caller, LaFleur wisely realized in the second half of the season that Henry's powerful running style meshed better with the team's blocking abilities.

Instead, the Packers were the only team to interview LaFleur for a head coaching job since the season ended.

He comes from Tennessee, where he served as offensive coordinator in 2018. The Titans finished 9-7 with a combination of Marcus Mariota and backup Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, and missed the playoffs. You look at the roster, you look at the success they're having this year. "I took the risk because I knew I needed to get out of my comfort zone and grow as a coach. I think I probably learned as much from him as he learned from me". "There's one goal - always has been one goal - and that's to win world championships".

LaFleur was in the vehicle at the time. He kicked off the press conference with a surprisingly revealing 10-minute monologue on the search process and how they landed on their guy. LaFleur is an experienced offensive mind that has worked under some great coaches. In 2016, Ryan led the Falcons to an appearance in the Super Bowl while being named AP NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year after recording the fifth-highest single-season passer rating (117.1) in league history and the highest passing-yardage total (4,944) in team history.

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