I was more than a bit surprised when the Green Bay Packers hired Matt LaFleur away from the Tennessee Titans to be their new head coach.
LaFleur only has two years of experience as an offensive coordinator in the NFL and only one year of play calling experience (Sean McVay called the plays in 2017 when LaFleur served as the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator).
Hiring a 39 year old coach with not a lot of play calling experience (and not a lot of success in his first season calling plays) seemed like an odd move for the Packers.
The move was made because the relationship between Rodgers and LaFleur’s predecessor, Mike McCarthy, had deteriorated to a point where it couldn’t be saved.
A fresh start for Rodgers with a new coach seemed ideal…..or maybe not.
There’s already a hint of tension between Rodgers and LaFleur and it has to do with changing plays at the line of scrimmage.
LaFleur doesn’t give his quarterbacks very much freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage.
That’s not going to fly with Rodgers, who is already one of the game’s all-time great quarterbacks.
And that’s not an assumption. Rodgers has already made it clear that he knows what he’s doing at the line.
“I don’t think you want me to turn off 11 years. There’s stuff that not many people in the league can do at the line. That’s not a humble brag. That’s just a fact.” Rodgers to @MikeSilver on LaFleuer’s system not having a ton of freedom at the LOS for the QB.
— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) June 14, 2019
I’m with Rodgers on this one. There’s no way LaFleur should take away one of Rodgers’ best assets. It’s incredibly silly for LaFleur to even consider doing this.
If this is the approach that LaFleur is going to take as the head coach of the Packers, then it’s going to end in disaster. Working with a future hall of fame quarterback is a bit different than working with a rookie quarterback or even an established veteran. It’s more of a give and take relationship. And that’s something LaFleur has to understand if he’s going to be successful in Green Bay.
Maybe the relationship between Rodgers and LaFleur will turn out to be great, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be off to a good start.
Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports