About a month after firing Mike McCarthy, the Green Bay Packers have reportedly found a new head coach to run the ship and try to right the offense with Aaron Rodgers: former LA Rams and Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. At 39, LaFleur joins former boss Sean McVay as one of the few under-40 head coaches in the league and he’s the first new hire of 2019.
The #Packers hire of #Titans OC Matt LaFleur is the first off the board, and I’m told #Bucs OC Todd Monken was the other really strong candidate here. Rather than do second rounds, they moved quickly on LaFleur— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 7, 2019
LaFleur’s first NFL job came in 2008 as an offensive assistant with the Houston Texans where he worked under head coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. He then followed Shanahan to Washington in 2010 where he worked as quarterbacks coach, which is when he first worked with McVay, the tight ends coach. He spent four years at that position, which meant he was a key part of the development of 2012 offensive rookie of the year Robert Griffin III, but when the Shanahan’s were fired after the 2013 season, he took a job under Brian Kelly at Notre Dame. In 2015, Shanahan became offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons and again LaFleur was his QB coach, next helping Matt Ryan win MVP in 2016.
After McVay became head coach for the Rams in 2017, LaFleur was his OC hire and he helped develop Jared Goff and the rest of the offense into viable scoring weapons one year after they finished last in points. The same could not be said about Marcus Mariota and the Titans in 2018, where LaFleur was coaching last season, as they were 27th in points and had just 16 passing touchdowns, but clearly there is a talent drop-off from LA to Tennessee.
LaFleur should have a lot to work with in Green Bay, including Rodgers, Davante Adams, Jimmy Graham, Aaron Jones, and a fair bit of young talent recently invested in at the receiver position.
The Seahawks beat the Packers 27-24 in 2018, essentially killing their playoff hopes at the time and McCarthy was fired sooner after. The two teams will not meet in the 2019 regular season, but Green Bay is obviously a foe of note and the NFC could see the Packers return to competitive play very soon if LaFleur turns out to be anything like his mentor in McVay.