The NFL is a copycat league, one in which the blueprint for hiring a new head coach (currently) features a young, highly-touted, and innovative mind with a grasp for modern offensive football. And yes, even the storied Green Bay Packers franchise finds itself falling in line.
Packers offered the job to Titans' OC Matt LaFleur, per sources. Other HC candidates have been notified that they're out. So it looks like LaFleur in Green Bay.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2019
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Green Bay has hired Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator Matt LaFleur as the team’s next head coach. LaFleur replaces interim HC Joe Philbin, who took over for Mike McCarthy after he was fired during the season.
LaFluer, 39, certainly fits the mold of the what is trending in the NFL. He is only four years older than Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but is respected and renowned for his work with players at that position. Being hired in Green Bay caps a rapid rise to the top of the NFL coaching ranks for LaFluer, who has previous experience as a Quarterbacks Coach in Atlanta (2015-16), Washington (2010-13), and at Notre Dame (2014).
Talk about a fast track! LaFleur jumped onto the hot coach candidate radar in 2017, when he was the Rams’ offensive coordinator under Sean McVay. While working with McVay, LaFleur played a key role in rebuilding Jared Goff in his second year as a pro, after a rough rookie season. But because he wasn’t getting any play-calling experience in Los Angeles, LaFleur jumped ship and took over those duties in Tennessee under defensive-minded first-year head coach Mike Vrabel.
This’ll be an interesting hire for the Packers. Green Bay was connected to high-profile candidates such as Patriots Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, while also having reported interest in Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald to fill the opening. After that spin of the rumor mill, LaFleur might seem like a let-down. But if Packers management believes getting the most out of Rodgers while also positioning the franchise with a young head coach, then LaFleur is a sensible choice.
Of course, only time will tell if it turns out well.