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Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

The first coach-hiring domino has fallen, with Green Bay offering its head coaching position to Tennessee offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. They wanted a young offensive mind, and they got one, as LaFleur is only 39 years old. But he's also only called plays in the NFL for one year. He didn't call plays as Rams offensive coordinator in 2017 or as Atlanta quarterbacks coach in 2015-2016. Despite the one year with Sean McVay, LaFleur is a Kyle Shanahan guy through-and-through; he was also Washington quarterbacks coach under Shanahan in 2010-2013.

Comments

21 comments, Last at 09 Jan 2019, 10:13pm

1 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by dank067 // Jan 07, 2019 - 10:17pm

Well, it's just about impossible to make an informed prediction on how a first-time, 39 year old head coach is going to do considering all of the facets of the job. At least one thing that makes me happy tonight: the Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay offenses LaFleur came up in feature more throws to receivers crossing the field into acres of space than any other in the NFL. Could not be a more different approach from the swamp of contested passes and throwaways the GB offense mired itself into in recent years.

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2 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Bobman // Jan 08, 2019 - 2:31am

Joey Trebbiani from Friends is a coach?

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4 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Bright Blue Shorts // Jan 08, 2019 - 5:17am

.

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12 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by xydux // Jan 08, 2019 - 3:29pm

A sneak preview of Quotes of the Week from September 6, 2019:

"How you doin'?"
"You know, that's bad for the paper tray."
"Over the line? You–you’re–you’re so far past the line, that you–you can’t even see the line! The line is a dot to you!"
"There's no meat in beer, right?"
"Does the knuckle-cracking bother everybody?"
"Set another place for Thanksgiving. My entire family thinks I have VD."
"Why God, why are You doing this to us?!?"
"It's just a moo point. You know, like a cow's opinion. It doesn't matter. It's moo."

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3 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Shylo // Jan 08, 2019 - 4:10am

Fuck, I think this hire won't be good for either team. I thought once the cards were pieced back together, the Year 2 of Lafleur's offense was going to be a much smoother ride, and I don't think he will do well at Green Bay, but I don't wish failure upon him.

My personal shortlist for Titans OC: Freddie Kitchens, Todd Monken, or John Morton, who I am amazed doesn't seem to currently have a job. I don't expect it to be any of them. I'm not sure what direction Vrabel will go in, and it's interesting but scary times.

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5 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by big10freak // Jan 08, 2019 - 10:33am

I like that he's been around other smart people. I like that he's younger. I like that as a coordinator he had to cobble things together as being resourceful is a good developed trait. I like that GB is going off the main road and taking a risk in someone who does not seem to have a 'pedigree'.

I used to get a lot of grief in my hiring approach as I regularly would seek out candidates who were smart and had energy pretty much ignoring experience and education. As I wearily explained to HR, give me smart, hungry kids eager to make stuff happen. I can teach them what they need to know. The rest they will figure out on their own.

So with that mindset I cannot very well criticize GB for doing the same.

Good luck young man

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6 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by mrh // Jan 08, 2019 - 11:04am

For another website, I wrote this two years ago:

So after a brilliant offensive season (first in points. second in yards) and a Super Bowl appearance, former OC Kyle Shanahan got a head coaching job. Hampered by the rules and prepping for the Super Bowl, the Falcons did not start a search for a new OC until after most teams had hired a lot of the likely choices. Presumably they could have hired from within, promoting Matt LaFleur from QB coach to OC. Apparently, they preferred to hire someone who had called plays before so they passed on LaFleur. And so they hired Steve Sarkisian.

Does this make sense? Here's your choices: 1) a young, ambitious assistant with 8 years of NFL coaching experience, all in the same offensive system you ran last year, who just worked for you and with your QB in his career year but has never called plays in the NFL; 2) a slightly older individual with head coaching experience in major college programs who has ONE year of NFL experience (13 years ago), gotten fired for having a drinking problem, has no experience with your offensive system, but worked for two of your former bosses and has never called plays in the NFL, although he has in college. I don't know about you, but I'd take the coach behind Door #1. Not Dan Quinn – he opted for #2, Sarkisian. Of course Matt LaFleur was so poorly thought of in NFL circles that he went A WHOLE DAY before another team hired him as its OC.

Then this before the 2018 season:

[Lafleur] started as a college coach in Division II in 2003 and kicked around in low-level jobs a couple of years, getting a Division II OC position in 2007. He leapt to the pro ranks in 2008 as a offensive quality control coach on Gary Kubiak's HOU staff, where Kyle Shanahan was OC. He followed the younger Shanahan to Mike Shanahan's Washington team in 2010, with a promotion to QB coach. He held that job for four years until the older Shanahan was fired. Kyle went to Cleveland as OC but LaFleur dropped back to the college ranks as Notre Dame's QB coach for a year. When Kyle Shanahan moved to Atlanta in 2015, he re-hired LaFleur as QB coach. That lasted two seasons and then Shanahan was hired as HC in SF. For some reason, the Falcons didn't promote LaFleur but hired Steve Sarkisian. The next day, Sean McVay snagged LaFleur to be his OC with the Rams.

Now, there are OC jobs and there are OC jobs. Being McVay's OC was a 2nd tier position, as McVay was in many ways his own OC (and tellingly didn't replace LaFleur when he left). But in TEN, LaFleur has a 1st tier OC job, working for a HC who may give the OC guidance but has little knowledge of what it takes to coordinate an offense. So the title says "lateral move" but the increased responsibility says "promotion."

And now Lafleur has a HC job, third promotion in three years. Sarkisian is on the street. Wonder how the last two years in Atlanta would have looked if Quinn had made a different decision?

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8 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Will Allen // Jan 08, 2019 - 1:45pm

Never understood Sarkisian's career buoyancy.

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11 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Jan 08, 2019 - 3:25pm

Alcohol weighs less than water.

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13 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Will Allen // Jan 08, 2019 - 3:48pm

ok, that's funny....

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10 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by big10freak // Jan 08, 2019 - 2:15pm

Thanks for sharing those insights

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7 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Jan 08, 2019 - 11:40am

Now that we have The Flower, I'm sad we no longer have Of the River.

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9 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by serutan // Jan 08, 2019 - 2:11pm

Never underestimate the NFL's commitment to recycling.

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14 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by justanothersteve // Jan 08, 2019 - 6:43pm

I have been staying away from football mostly for the past few weeks. I don't hate picking LaFleur. I'm not sure I'd have been wild about any candidate (except maybe Toub). There were several names mentioned I'm glad weren't the choice (McDaniels, Pat Fitzgerald). I think LaFleur is someone Rodgers will be willing to work with, and that's an important criterion. The jump to HC is always huge. At least the Packers offense will look more like a 21st century offense.

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15 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by jtr // Jan 09, 2019 - 8:44am

I wonder if LaFleur isn't intended to be equal with or even almost subordinate to Rodgers. LaFleur has less experience as an NFL coach than Rodgers has as an NFL starter. After all the friction between Rodgers and McCarthy, maybe Green Bay was intentionally looking for a bit of an inexperienced guy whom Rodgers would work WITH rather than FOR.

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16 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Jan 09, 2019 - 9:22am

This makes a lot of sense!

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17 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by big10freak // Jan 09, 2019 - 1:22pm

A head coach can collaborate with a great player, but not no leader can appear to be taking direction from what is an employee. That will cause all kinds of issues with the larger workforce.

And while I greatly respect a lot about 12 he needs to be led and coached. And to his credit he has said as much.

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18 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Will Allen // Jan 09, 2019 - 5:37pm

I think it can work on an NBA team, in fact it's proven to work on an NBA team, but managing a roster of 12, maybe 6 of whom aren't pretty fumgible, is a lot different than managing 53 with maybe 20-28 of those being nonfungible.

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19 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by jtr // Jan 09, 2019 - 6:20pm

I don't think Rodgers will be actually making decisions for LaFleur, and certainly not giving orders to all of the other players. But I think this could be a situation where the gameplans are a collaborative effort between him and the coaching staff rather than the normal arrangement, where the coaches are responsible for conceiving the entire gameplan and the QB's job is to just say "yes sir" and execute it. Rodgers obviously hated a lot of McCarthy's gameplans, and rumors out of Green Bay last year indicated that Rodgers would go long stretches without running any of the plays McCarthy called. Giving Rodgers a seat with the coaches in gameplanning would be a good move to both take advantage of a sharp football mind and to keep Rodgers committed to staying on the same page as the staff.

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20 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by Will Allen // Jan 09, 2019 - 6:45pm

McCarthy's a crappy coach if he wasn't trying to get Rodgers' involvement. Maybe he did, and the two of them just ended up being increasingly incompatible.

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21 Re: Green Bay to Hire Matt LaFleur

by TimK // Jan 09, 2019 - 10:13pm

Can see Rodgers with his mobility and arm liking a lot of the Shanahan offensive concepts. Other that than no idea but always happy to wish a team and a young coach luck rather than see more retreads going around.

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