Report: Packers Hire New Head Coach
NFL insiders are reporting that the Green Bay Packers have hired their new head coach, replacing fired coach Mike McCarthy and supplanting interim head coach Joe Philbin. Adam Schefter is reporting that the Packers have hired former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, and have notified all other candidates for the job that they are no longer being considered.
LaFleur is a 39 year-old Michigan native, with quarterbacks coaching and offensive coordinator chops at various college programs including Northern Michigan and Notre Dame, as well as roles in NFL staffs that include the following (via Pro Football Reference):
- Houston Texans - Offensive quality control coach (2008-2009)
- Washington Redskins - Quarterbacks coach (2010-2013)
- Atlanta Falcons - Quarterbacks coach (2015-2016)
- Los Angeles Rams - Offensive coordinator (2017)
- Tennessee Titans - Offensive Coordinator (2018)
LaFleur has been associated with a handful of talented offenses, including a high-flying Falcons offense working with Matt Ryan as a quarterbacks coach and an emergent Rams offense that came to life during his tenure with the team in a year that saw Jared Goff and the Rams become the high-scoring unit it is now known as. The Rams went from 4-12 in 2016 to 11-5 in 2017 when LaFleur took over as offensive coordinator. The same high-powered results did not follow LaFleur to Tennessee in 2018, where his offense ranked in the bottom 10 of most categories, outside of rushing, where it ranked higher.
LaFleur does also have some familiarity with in-division rival Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, working as the quarterbacks coach during Cousins' first two years with Washington. While Cousins was on the team during two seasons with LaFleur as a quarterbacks coach, Cousins only saw 8 games of on-field action, with Robert Griffin III playing the role of starter during the majority of both of the two seasons LaFleur and Cousins were part of the Redskins organization together.
The reported hiring of this offensive-minded head coach, who played wide receiver in college and has lots of experience as a quarterbacks coach, appears to aim directly to reviving the magic of a Packers offense that has been less than it was billed to be over the past couple seasons. With Aaron Rodgers, a pool of young wide receivers, and an emerging running game, this new offensive direction could bring offensive success back to Green Bay.