The Green Bay Packers introduced Matt LaFleur as their new head coach last Wednesday, making him the 15th head coach in franchise history. LaFleur, 39, spent the 2018 season as the offensive coordinator for the Titans. The hiring follows the recent trend of teams bringing in young coaches with no head coaching experience but expansive offensive backgrounds.
LaFleur was one of the top head coaching candidates this off-season, despite his Titans ranking 27th in scoring offense last year. LaFleur’s value comes from his past experiences in the NFL. He was the quarterbacks coach for Matt Ryan during his MVP season in 2016 and the offensive coordinator for the Rams during their breakout 2017 season. LaFleur worked closely with two of the best young offensive minds in today’s NFL – Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay. LaFleur worked with Shanahan while the two were on the same staff in Washington and he was the OC for McVay’s rookie head coaching season in 2017.
During his time in Tennessee, LaFleur gained experience calling plays for the offense.
LaFleur beat out a number of candidates including Josh McDaniels, Adam Gase, Chuck Pagano, and Todd Monken, among others.
The first move LaFleur made as head coach was to retain Packers DC Mike Pettine.
As for the rest of the coaching staff, LaFleur is still filling out his spots.
Former Jaguars OC Nathaniel Hackett was hired as the new OC. Hackett has experience with the West Coast offense, which LaFleur runs. Hackett is also the son of former coach Paul Hackett who hired former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. LaFleur is not expected to hire a QB coach, as he and Hackett will spend extensive time coaching and challenging Aaron Rodgers.
LaFleur did not keep Ron Zook as a member of his coaching staff. Zook was the special teams coordinator under McCarthy. That position has not yet been filled.
The Packers lost their longest tenured coach when run-game coordinator and offensive line coach James Campen was hired by Cleveland as their associate head coach and offensive line coach. Campen had done a great job in GB developing an offensive line that continually lost major pieces in free agency.
Other Packer assistants that were not asked to come back include receivers coach David Raih, defensive passing-game coordinator Joe Whitt, and defensive run-game coordinator Patrick Graham.
Running backs coach Ben Sirmans, tight ends coach Brian Angelichio, and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery are all expected to return.
LaFleur is the first head coach under 40 the Packers have hired since Curly Lambeau was hired as a 23-year-old in 1921. LaFleur is expected to fill the remaining positions on his staff over the next few weeks.
The BIGPLAY Podcast
live wednesday nights @ 8:30pm