Green Bay Packers roundtable: Building relationships with Aaron Rodgers

Rex Christensen
January 13, 2019

Matt LaFleur had a feeling he was in the running for the Green Bay head coaching job when he got a call from Aaron Rodgers.

According to team president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst, LaFleur was by far the best of the other nine candidates who interviewed for the job after longtime head coach Mike McCarthy was sacked on December 2, with four games remaining in his 13th season in charge.

LaFleur said his goodbyes at Saint Thomas Sports Park earlier in the day. "I can tell he's a passionate guy, and he wants to win. But I think the experience he had in Tennessee, there's no doubt that made him a better coach, and we think he's absolutely ready to be a head coach". "If we continue to move forward on a day-to-day basis, I think we're going to win a lot of games here". Murphy got emotional when he singled out one candidate, interim head coach Joe Philbin, but none of the options had that the right feeling the Green Brass were searching for. There were plenty of other strong candidates vying for the opportunity to work with an all-time great QB in the back half of his career, but Green Bay was smart to pass on all of them and go with LaFleur. LaFleur's first National Football League coaching experience came as an offensive assistant for the Houston Texans in 2008-09, where he worked with the quarterbacks and wide receivers.

As LaFleur's new starting quarterback might say, those skeptics should R-E-L-A-X.

LaFleur was the quarterback coach when Kirk Cousins was in Washington | Source
LaFleur was the quarterback coach when Kirk Cousins was in Washington | Source

"I think we're both on the same page".

"The foundation, it goes back to Mike Shanahan", LaFleur said. The Titans finished last season ranked 27th in scoring offense. "It lessens the predictability of what you're trying to do, and it keeps a defense more off-balance".

The 32-year old coach could be getting a promotion if he heads to Green Bay as the team's special teams coordinator. Again, it comes down to developing that relationship, that trust, especially with the quarterback. "The first thing Matt said was, 'I'm speechless.' I knew then that this was genuine excitement".

LaFleur certainly is, and that phone call with the two-time MVP quarterback only energized him more. His wife, BreAnne, was driving, and they were on their way to pick up their two young sons, Luke and Ty, from school. The Titans, meanwhile, would be working with a first-year head coach in Mike Vrabel and an often mediocre quarterback in Marcus Mariota.

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