The Green Bay Packers continued the league-wide trend on Monday evening, hiring a young, offensive coach in Matt LaFleur.
Green Bay is a small town, but it isn’t slow to the times. On Monday, the Packers hired Matt LaFleur to replace Mike McCarthy. LaFleur, 39, is the youngest coach to helm Green Bay since Curly Lambeau.
His appointment continues what has become a craze in the NFL. The league is more offensive than ever, and after watching Sean McVay dazzle in Los Angeles and Matt Nagy shine in Chicago, the Packers have taken the plunge with LaFleur. The 39-year-old comes from the McVay tree, having worked as the Rams offensive coordinator in 2017 before taking the same job with the Titans for this season.
For LaFleur, it was a chance to call plays and implement his own flavor. The result had to be maddening. Looking at the film, the Titans consistently found open space in the passing game, only to be stymied by Marcus Mariota’s shortcomings. In response, LaFleur adapted his scheme to fit his personnel, running heavily with Derrick Henry. Tennessee finished the year ranked 25th in yardage and 27th in points.
Still, LaFleur was an intriguing candidate for multiple clubs. Between his age and the offense he prefers to run — see the Rams — he’s a terrific fit in the evolving NFL. Specifically to Green Bay, LaFleur should be a nice fit for Aaron Rodgers, who chaffed within McCarthy’s static approach that was heavy of slant/flat combinations and short on intricate motions.
When LaFleur ends up being what the Packers envision remains uncertain. Green Bay has a bevy of young talent to develop in Aaron Jones, Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling among others. If the Packers can continue to bring them along, the pieces are in place for a competitive offense with a high ceiling.
If nothing else, Green Bay was smart enough to go with the tide. Hiring a defensive coordinator is a tough sell unless he comes with a dynamic staff.
LaFleur didn’t have an eye-popping season in Nashville, but teams saw enough on tape to believe in his offensive chops. Now he has the chance to prove his mettle with one of the greatest quarterbacks the sport has ever known.
Not a bad gamble by Green Bay.