The Green Bay Packers are officially the first team to strike in the head coach hunt with the expected hire of former Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, per ESPN.
This will be LaFleur’s first stint as a head coach, but he has plenty of experience with successful head coaches and potent offenses. Prior to his OC job with the Titans, LaFleur worked with Kyle Shanahan’s Falcons in 2016, when the Falcons beat the Packers in the NFC Championship, and Sean McVay’s Rams in 2017—both teams were the highest-scoring offenses in their respective years, so it will be exciting to see what LaFleur can do with Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
Expectations are already lofty for the 39-year old head coach—there is plenty of unrest in the city of Green Bay after a 6-9-1 season and a second consecutive year missing the playoffs. LaFleur replaces Mike McCarthy, who went 135-85-2 in his time at Green Bay, including four NFC Championship appearances and a Super Bowl victory.
But it was clear that McCarthy’s time in Green Bay had come to a close, and fans are hoping that the next head coach brings innovative play-calling and a fresh start to an organization at a stand-still. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, LaFleur has hopes “to keep defensive coordinator Mike Pettine on board” and is “expected to consider keeping Packers interim head coach Joe Philbin on staff as well.”
Despite dealing with several injuries, Pettine’s defense showed vast improvements from years’ past, and Philbin is very familiar with the Packer’s system. It’s a new era in Packerland, and the hope is there that this team can get back on track next year.