My take on Packers hiring LaFleur

On January 9, 2019, in Uncategorized, by Stephen

By Stephen Nover

You would have though the Packers hired the second coming of Vince Lombardi with how fast they moved on naming Matt LaFleur as their new head coach. 
The hiring leaves me with two questions: 
What was the big rush? As far as I can determine, no other NFL team was interested in LaFleur as their head coach. There were reports that LaFleur might have even lost his job as offensive coordinator for the Titans during the off-season. 
What has LaFleur done to merit being named Mike McCarthy’s replacement?
My answer to the second question is nothing. LaFleur certainly does not look to be the next Sean McVay. LaFleur’s record in 10 seasons as an assistant in the NFL is 82-83. The teams he coached made the playoffs in just three of those 10 years. The highest position he held was being offensive coordinator for the Titans this past season, his first as a play-caller. 
LaFleur did not exactly flourish. The Titans went 9-7 because they gave up the third-fewest points in the NFL. Tennessee stunk on offense until finally figuring out just to feed Derrick Henry. Because of Henry, the Titans had the seventh-best rushing mark in the NFL. LaFleur couldn’t coach Marcus Mariota up. The Titans finished 25th in yards, 27th in points, 23rd in red zone scoring and 29th in sack percentage allowed. 
The Titans were predictable, complacent and boring on offense. They made few adjustments. It’s inexcusable that the uber-talented Mariota is four years into his NFL career and still hasn’t demonstrated an ability to hurt defenses with downfield throws.
Henry rushed for 1,029 yards. He had 45 percent of his carries come during the last five weeks of the season and nearly 60 percent of his rushing yards. It took LaFleur until Week 12 to figure out how good Henry was? The Titans were 5-6 before winning four of their last five thanks to Henry and a stout defense. They still didn’t make the playoffs.
And LaFleur is the guy the Packers wanted so much that they made their decision before any other team with a head coaching vacancy did.  
As a Packers fan for more than 60 years, I shed no tears when McCarthy was fired. I would have fired him following his gutless coaching performance against the Seahawks in the 2014 playoffs. 
But I’m not happy with the selection of LaFleur. Not when the Packers still had a chance to talk to Bruce Arians before he accpeted the Buccaneers job. Not when you had Vic Fangio, Mike Munchak, Eric Bieniemy, Zac Taylor, Todd Monken, Kris Richard and even Jim Caldwell as potential candidates. 
The Packers’ biggest problem to reclaiming prominence is team president and CEO Mark Murphy. He’s not sharp. He’s a mediocrity. He waited way too long to demote Ted Thompson as general manager. Thompson sowed the seeds for the Packers’ destruction this past season with his horrible drafts of the last couple of years and by failing to sign any free agents to bolster weak areas. 
Maybe Murphy was influenced to hire LaFleur by Trace Armstrong, who is the agent for LaFleur and Green Bay defensive coordiantor Mike Pettine. That would answer the first question. 
The bottom line, though, is with Murphy firmly in charge and LaFleur as the new head coach, I hold little optimism that the Packers automatically are going to bounce back next season even with Aaron Rodgers. 



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