The Green Bay Packers have spent the last thirteen seasons under coach Mike McCarthy. After another disappointing season and a lack luster offense, President and CEO Mark Murphy made the choice to fire McCarthy after a horrid showing against the Arizona Cardinals mid season.
The season was well over for the Packers, and so began the hunt for a new face to lead them back to their winning ways. It didn’t take long for that to happen, as they have found a new head coach in Matt LaFleur.
You may be asking yourself, who the heck is Matt LaFleur?! Well, let’s introduce you to him and take a look at just why the Packers were quick to give him the job.
Matt LaFleur is 39 years old, and was born and raised in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. He was a three year starting quarterback at Saginaw Valley State University and led them to the division II playoffs each season. Quickly after that he began coaching for Saginaw Valley as an offensive assistant, but for only one year. He bounced around from various small time colleges from 2004-2007.
That all led to his first opportunity in the NFL, and it came with the Houston Texans as the offensive quality coach in 2008. In 2010 he was the quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins, where he helped rookie Robert Griffin III have his best year as an NFL QB, winning rookie of the year. He spent three years in Washington.
Lafleur spent the 2014 season as the quarterbacks coach for Notre Dame and worked hand in hand with Deshone Kizer.
2015 was a great year for Lafleur, as he was the quarterbacks coach for the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan was the MVP that year, throwing for 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and a passer rating of 117.
In 2017 he was the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams, but head coach Sean McVay called the plays. Still, it was an amazing year for QB Jared Goff and Matt Lafleur should get a lot of credit for his success.
The 2018 season was his first shot as the play caller for the Tennessee Titans. Say all you want about the Titans this year, but you can’t put all the blame on coach LaFleur. Multiple injuries, a bad offensive line, no key playmakers, and an unproven quarterback in Marcus Mariota. The Titans went 9-7 and their offense ranked 27th in points for, 25th in yards, 29th in pass yards, and 7th in rushing yards. The numbers look bad yes, but it’s all about the situation and the pieces that were available to LaFleur. The plays were still very creative and you could tell with better pieces and more playmakers (like the Packers have) that it could defiantly work somewhere else.
All in all, Coach Lafleur is a great offensive mind. In comparison to other coaches like Sean McVay and Kyle Shannahan, he is right there with them in creativity and scheming players open. Another plus, it looks as if he will bring defensive coordinator Mike Pettine back which will bode very well for our young and talented defense.
Trent Dilfer and Dan Orlovsky have said some pretty great things about coach Lafleur.
The Packers have made their decision, and Mark Murphy’s legacy is on the line. Will it work out? Only time will tell, but the one key thing here is coach LaFleur is gifted at working with quarterbacks and he will be outstanding with Aaron Rodgers.