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Per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, the two sides are “working on finalizing a deal.” He added that LaFleur’s hiring is “expected to help keep Mike Pettine and the defensive staff intact.”
Rapoport added that “Pettine, still under contract, was on new coach Matt LaFleur’s list when he presented during his interview, source said. The early expectation is that Pettine stays in Green Bay, though Lafleur will make a firm call when it’s official.”
He also noted that Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken “was the other really strong candidate here. Rather than do second rounds, they moved quickly on LaFleur.”
As for the potential domino effect of the move, Rapoport reported that the Packers were the only “known” interview New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took this offseason, which “likely means Josh is back in New England for another year.”
LaFleur, 39, started his NFL coaching career with the Houston Texans as a quality control coach (2008-09) before spending four seasons as Washington’s quarterbacks coach (2010-13). He then returned to college for one season as Notre Dame’s quarterbacks coach in 2014 before spending time as the quarterbacks coach for the Atlanta Falcons (2015-16), working with former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
He then became the Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator in 2017 under Sean McVay before taking the same position with the Tennessee Titans in 2018. LaFleur was given play-calling duties in Tennessee, a role that McVay handled in Los Angeles, essentially making the move a promotion for LaFleur.
While the Titans struggled offensively in 2018, finishing 25th in yards and 27th in points, Marcus Mariota had several injuries and the team lacked dynamic weapons in the passing game. LaFleur built around the team’s running game and talented options in Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis, leading the team to the seventh-ranked run offense.
As B/R’s Matt Miller noted, “The McVay connection helps LaFleur, but I’ve long heard he’s one of the smartest offensive coaches in the league. Will give Green Bay the boost they wanted offensively.”
In Green Bay, LaFleur inherits one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL and better playmakers in the passing game, led by Davante Adams. Building a stronger run game—the Packers were 22nd in run offense in 2018—will be one of the keys for LaFleur, as will be developing a strong rapport with Rodgers.
There’s an argument to be made that the Packers haven’t fully taken advantage of Rodgers’ prime, missing the last two postseasons and failing to build a well-rounded contender for him following the team’s 2010 title. Rodgers was still good enough to lead the team to six playoff appearances after his Super Bowl victory, including two losses in NFC Championship Games.
But the Packers have grown mediocre since, so getting the most out of Rodgers’ remaining years has now become LaFleur’s primary directive.