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Matt LaFleur and New Staff Need Patience

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is just months into his new gig and already there's been a lot to deal with.  He's been in the midst of hiring his new staff, meeting his players, installing his culture and doing his part to prep for the recent draft.  

During that time, there has also been much written about life around 1265 Lombardi Avenue, both past and present.

First, there was the Tyler Dunne Bleacher Report piece about the toxicity last season that included the ouster of previous head coach Mike McCarthy.  This past week, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote about the current state of affairs in Green Bay.  Neither was flattering and both were based on several sources that were not named.

Whether you believe what was said or not, it was still a lot to take in.  To some extent, as minor as it may be, it all has to have been an eye-opening few months for LaFleur.

One of the things Silverstein wrote about was the construction of LaFleur's staff.  According to the Silverstein, LaFleur was given some strong suggestions as to who to hire on his staff. 

LaFleur was strongly advised to keep defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, a decision he may have made on his own anyway.  But after spending much time interviewing former offensive line coach James Campen, tight ends coach Brian Angelichio and defensive backs coach Joe Whitt, all three were not retained.

Many believe that LaFleur was either forced to or strongly advised to move on from some of these pieces that represented the previous regime.  It meant that, in large part, a new guard was on its way to Green Bay.  That is often the case with a new head coach, but the reported influences from the team are raising eyebrows.

LaFleur hired former Packers wide receivers coach Luke Getsy to be the team's quarterbacks coach and many believe that this move was made to help foster a better relationship between LaFleur and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  Getsy seems like a solid choice for that role, but was this LaFleur's own doing or was he led down this path by some outside influence?  

Retained from last season were defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, running backs coach Ben Sirmans, defensive backs coach Jason Simmons (promoted to the role) and assistant defensive backs coach Ryan Downard (promoted to that role).  Outside of that, it's all new faces leading the roster into 2019.

Meshing all of those parts together is not likely to be a quick and easy process.  Especially if there are heavy influences at work outside of LaFleur.

The Packers and their fans are starved for a winning season.  The roster has the talent to do it and if they can max out, they're capable of making a deep playoff run.  But history has shown us that some patience is likely going to be needed.

Going back to when Mike Holmgren was hired as Packers head coach in 1992, no first-year head coach has taken the Packers to the postseason.  LaFleur would be the first in a long time to accomplish the feat.  Holmgren, Mike Sherman and McCarthy did each take their teams to the postseason in year two, however.  Both Holmgren's and McCarthy's teams eventually won a Super Bowl, both in year five.

Should the Packers miss the postseason this year, it would mark the first time since the mid-1980's that has happened.  Hopefully some of those holdovers from before can at least help integrate the newcomers to what life in Green Bay is like.  

We're just over two months away from training camp and then we'll get a good look at how this staff is working together.  If we're basing on team history, the odds aren't great for 2019 but despite a limited amount of time left with Rodgers under center, it's important to maintain a long-term look at the new Green Bay Packers.

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Pulse of the Pack podcast.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Nick Perry's picture

Holmgren and McCarthy took over completely different teams. The team MLF has taken over has much more talent in his first season as HC than Holmgren and McCarthy had hands down.

Brian Gutekunst has had his hand on this roster for 2 offseason and drafts. IMO he's built up a Championship Defense , one capable of carrying this team until the offense hits it's stride sometime in October.

I don't really give a damn about history. Just because other head coaches in year one didn't make the postseason doesn't mean MLF can't.

Besides...If Matt Nagy can go 12-4 with Mitch Trubisky as his QB in year one then MLF can DEFINITLY go 11-5 or 12-4 and win the NFC North in year one with Aaron Rodgers.

Coldworld's picture

I agree that the roster appears sounder, but there is still a lot of youth and new systems on offense and in many ways on Defense if my take is correct.

I want to win this year, obviously, but what I really want is to see a winning unit developing for the next several years. It will take time to gel in all likelihood. I want to see progress from LaFleur, not burden him with unrealistic expectations out of the gate.

As to Nagy. The Packers and lions regression helped a lot as did some questionable decisions from the Vikings, notably at QB, in addition to which, once in a blue moon health. The chances are, that boosted his win stats for reasons not down to him. His challenge will be to maintain and surpass with all the Bear fan’s expectations on his back. Even with a good team, that’s not going to be easy even if one doesn’t think the opposition will be tougher this year in the North.

Hawg Hanner's picture

Nick, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments but note that already several readers have given a thumbs down. It is sure true you can't please all the people. Are these the disgruntled McGinn Silverstein Michalski followers?

TheVOR's picture

Totally agree with your comments. The DC is in his 2nd year, system intact, far more talent and adders in talent than losses. Wasn't a huge DIX fans after his first few seasons, Matthews having 16 sacks over the last 3 seasons and coming off 3 1/2 last year, not going to feel that one either.

Finally, MLF is the supposed "Offensive Mind"! He has Aaron Rodgers! They need to make sure the offense is ready to play, and play into Rodgers hands. The OL and offense needs to click, and it needs to get up to speed. Hell, it certainly can't/shouldn't be worse than last year. Again, decent adders on the OL.

This team needs to come out strong. Both sides of the ball should be significantly better, and there is no honeymoon here. The coaching staff needs to have them ready. No excuses.. In fact I'd say the coaches that are gone are mostly guy's I've looked at for years as needing to be replaced.

Onward, no excuses, no honeymoon period..

Old School's picture

Nick....I agree that the takeover situation for LaFleur is better than the situations that McCarthy and Sherman and Holmgren inherited. The roster is better. I also remember that a few months ago there were a lot of people saying that the problem with the team was McCarthy. And the talent level.

I, personally, always thought the roster was good enough to win with but we were just crushed with injuries on defense. During that all important stretch run from Thanksgiving through December, we only had about 4 starters on the field. We had guys starting who weren't even on the practice squad when the season started. So I can cut Pettine quite a bit of slack for last year.

The "dysfunction" should have been fixed when McCarthy left....unless the dysfunction wasn't because of McCarthy. We're going to find out about that pretty quick. A second season of "dysfunction", or whatever they choose to call it (miscommunication, learning curve, …) isn't going to sit real well.

We return the entire offense, essentially. QB, backup QB, WRs (with the exception of Cobb, who missed most of the season), TEs , RBs, four out of fix offensive line starters, a couple of backup linemen. We've also added three guys to the mix in Madison, Jenkins, and Turner. Offensive line should be better than last year.

So, IMO, it shouldn't take the offense long to "get up to speed". They should come out of the gate fast.....IF Aaron Rodgers is the QB, and IF he plays well.

The defense could take some time to gel. We've got new guys in the linebacking group. We've got second year guys and a injury-plagued 3rd year guy as our main CBs. We have new safeties.

But I don't get the sense that we're head and shoulders above the Bears or the Vikings. I wouldn't be so dismissive of Trubisky. Let the record show that in 2018, the Bears scored more points than us. Trubisky threw the ball over 130 fewer times than Rodgers, yet had better yards/attempt and QB rating. More TDs. He was sacked 20 fewer times. If you subtract the yards lost in sacks from the yards rushing, he has over a 400 yard advantage on Rodgers.

Don't get me wrong. I think Rodgers has been a great QB for the Packers, but last year Rodgers was not better than Trubisky You can propose a lot of theories as to why, or why it might/will be different this year, but it is what it is.

If we miss the playoffs for a 3rd straight year, Gutekunst is going to be in a difficult spot.

Coldworld's picture

Gute didn’t hire LaFleur or Pettine. Not sure why he’d take the fall if they miss the playoffs

Old School's picture

Because he's the GM. Do you think the President is going to fire himself?

Hopefully, everything works out and we win the division and we an all be happy. If we don't, LaFleur has immunity because it's his first year, and Pettine, too, unless the defense plays a lot worse than we're expecting it to.

But it will be two straight seasons under Gute without playoffs, and he's going to have to own that. He's the GM.

jannes bjornson's picture

If there are empty seats in December, Murphy will be reassigned to the equipment room on Park Avenue.

Lare's picture

Not only did Holmgren and McCarthy take over completely different teams, the entire NFC North was different back then. I always said the W/L records for the Packers in those years were inflated due to playing poor teams twice each season. It's different now with the Bears and Vikings being pretty good teams and the Lions possibly on the rise.

Every year is different and much more for the Packers this season. Hope everybody stays relatively healthy and some players make a jump up this season.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

We needed to keep Pettine.
That was a "Thank God" move & I would have been ticked off had they let him go.

Coldworld's picture

Hopefully, with the roster additions on D we will begin to see what Pettine is really capable of. It is so nice to be excited not only about our D generally going into the season, but about the attitude it looks like it will embody. A long time since I could say that.

dblbogey's picture

I'm looking forward to Rashan Gary and Kenny Clark together bringing inside destruction and chaos.

Cubbygold's picture

And Pettine staying true to his word that he wasn't looking to move into a HC role was great to see. He's the right guy for the job and he's being given the tools to succeed. It's nice to finally be excited to watch the defense play.

Pack Fan Forever's picture

Hoping for the best with tempered expectations. And sincerely hoping that Mark Murphy doesn’t decide to start calling plays.

Boneman's picture

The reason turnarounds take some time is connected to the culture thing. You don't change a culture by giving one speech and announcing your intentions. Culture is established by communicating your vision and then consistently managing to that vision. The two off-season articles have hinted that the dysfunction runs pretty deep and that the culture change required might be pretty significant. That said, football is also a game of talent, system and passion. I believe we can turn around our fortunes quickly because our talent level has improved significantly, our system has been modernized and our young guns coaching staff appears to be all about energy and enthusiasm. Culture can be changed quickly through winning quickly and maintained with good management. I think we have the potential to really be a part of something big starting this year! As Nagler always points out, time will tell.

Handsback's picture

Again taking the politics out of the discussion, the coaches will have to be patient in teaching this team how to win with the new offense. Pettine's system has had a very significant influx of talent and most of it is vets. His group should start to click before the offense does. Having a QB like Rodgers will help, but still don't think the offense will explode like it should until later in the season.

I want to say next season will be when you see the team take that huge step in improvement, however nobody wants to hear that including me.

PeteK's picture

Win early and all the talk of front office disfunction will be forgotten. We have improved on our weaknesses. New solid choices at guard, two solid safeties, and an improved pass rush. Injuries to key positions could ruin the season, but that's the worry with every team. There is always some luck involved with injuries. Most of the teams that make it to the SB are usually free of injuries. I think we can win big now.

Turophile's picture

I do believe that the 'clean house' philosophy can be taken a bit too far. There are one or two long term coaches let go, that I wouldn't have minded seeing stay. Campen and Whitt were both let go and it took no time at all for them to be snapped up by Green Bay South (ie Cleveland). The only longer term coach retained was RB coach Ben Sirmans (4th year as RB coach).

Apart from Sirmans, the only coaches that were retained have little time spent with McCarthy in Green Bay. At least Pettine was among the few retained, I would have been very annoyed to see him go.

dobber's picture

I think a rookie--and very young--HC like LaF will benefit significantly from having a former HC on his staff (Pettine) who by his own admission has little desire to be a HC again.

stockholder's picture

I think the Pat on the Back, has to stop. I think "reading between the lines", has been "To Much". Sure the packers look fantastic on paper again. With a new season comes greater expectations. The pain of the off season has been a disconnection at the Top. So what can the packers Do! Thats the real picture! Competition! Do the packers have enough to win it all. The packers seem to be gambling with odds. Is Beating the odds their battle cry? Or taking chances? If it's odds or chance they will fail. Try this! Do that! The packers must Win. Support for LeFeur has been can do. But I keep seeing Gute making mistakes. Thats the danger signs. It's Gute!! HIS Changes! What should be "No brainers", has tuned out to be "Over thinking". (Trades, wasting picks, financial decisions) Lack of "position stock piling" could Doom this team. The talent behind the starters just isn't good! I went through the bad years. I went through the years after Starr. The packers put to many eggs in the Arron Rodgers basket. The packers are in a state of Roster Turn over. It looks promising. {My Concern is everything will fail; if Rodgers can't get it done. } The success of this team is still on Arron Rodgers back. If he fails; The Packers won't stop the bleeding. Gute hasn't done enough To fix the depth chart. Just to many Questions. Year to year, is not the fix I was looking for from Gute.

Turophile's picture

Stockholder says: regarding Gute making mistakes "What should be "No brainers", has tuned out to be "Over thinking". (Trades, wasting picks, financial decisions) Lack of "position stock piling" could Doom this team. "

Two points here. Will you acknowledge you are wrong, if, after trading up for Savage, he turns out to be a very good free safety for the Packers, much as Clay Matthews was, when the Packers used several lower picks to trade up for him ?

It looks to me like you just wanted the draft to go differently, taking your personal favourites. It's absurdly early to criticise this years draft decisions, you couldn't even wait for a couple of preseason games to call Gute's trading a failure.

As for the strength of the depth chart, it doesn't seem bad to me, compared with other teams (the 2019 season will be the real test, though). You will never get high quality backups everywhere, ones that are almost as good as starters. Ever since the salary cap came into being, that dream is close to an impossible task, even if there weren't 31 other teams chasing the same players.

In contrast to your negative comments, Brian Gutekunst HAS done a lot to reshape this team. Will the changes and additions result in Green Bay being a good team ?......we will have to wait and see. Way too early to dismiss this years depth chart, and I suspect that no matter what Gute does, your unrealistic expectations will never be achieved.

This seems to be a case of disliking the GM, then trying to find or invent negative things to beat him with. Give him time, have reasonable expectations, and judge the results in a timely fashion.

stockholder's picture

Yes I will acknowledge I was wrong on the trade ups. "But" only if Savage makes All-pro and resigns with the packers. I did want the draft to go differently. But not for personal favorites. 1. Gary is my problem. Drafting a player that has a bad wing does not sit well with me. Especially when you hear he's falling! #2 The loss of draft capitol. Not only for Savage but Burks. 3. Kiser Trade. He was suppose to be the next QB to lead the packers, if A-Rod goes down. 4. I can understand wanting a player. I don't understand the REACH. The safeties No one liked. All were considered 2nd Rd. This draft reminded me of marketing. Not BPA. Gambling on NEED. A first in 20 years of watching the draft. My expectation is Glory! Not status Que. Average/overachieving players don't win. The best players do! I don't dislike Gute. His Free agent moves were flawless this year. ( We needed Starters!). But Gute's drafts should of gave us more! MORE< MORE< MORE> Can you honestly say you don't have Questions About these picks? You never answer a Question with a Question!! Thats my objection. Not disliking Gute.

jannes bjornson's picture

Ferrell was gone. Why pay Wilkens # one money when you have to resign Clark? Pettine wants guys who can hold Edge and move with some degree of speed. He wants pressures. Perry and Matthews hit a wall. Burks was a project when drafted. They wanted a cover ILB for the nickle as Martinez is a step behind TEs and RBs in the one-on-one. At least Gutekunst brought in veterans for the defense to recover with instead of the two-four year draft and develop for others routine.

Turophile's picture

stockholder. With regard to the Savage being a reach at #21.

Public big boards and mock drafts are NOT the GMs boards.

It was generally reported after the draft (ie on multiple sites and in more than one audio broadcast) that Savage was one of the biggest risers in the couple of weeks before the draft, due mainly to Maryland not being a powerhouse team and draftniks being slow to recognise both his elite athleticism (seen at the combine) and his overall skill level.

Savage probably didn't move up much on GMs boards in the final fortnight, because he was already high up there, just on the public mocks. Everyone is more truthful with other teams post draft, than pre-draft, because they now have their guys.........or not.

The post-draft word was that the Ravens wanted Savage, which is why Gute traded up just high enough to get him. Those rumours were reinforced when the Ravens (picking after the Packers) immediately traded back a few spots, rather than stay put.

If the Packers had just wanted a decent free safety there were several, Gardner-Johnson, Thornhill, Adderley, Thompson, all the Packers had to do was wait and one of those would have dropped to them at #30 or #44 or even later (which I think is your point)........THEY DID NOT DO THAT. So you have to wonder why they traded up ?

The only answer that makes any sense is that they liked Savage SO much more than the other candidates they spent two 4th round picks to get him. He was the guy they wanted badly enough to make a big move up. Was it a good call or a bad one ? Wait two years and you should know, but I like the boldness of them going and getting the guy they want, if they have reason to believe they needed to make a move up to get him.

If you remember the 2018 draft, in round one, after trading down, Gute moved back up for the guy he wanted, CB Jaire Alexander. In the limited playing time he has had, he has looked a very nice pick. Not only did Gute's move back up get the guy he wanted, his trading also netting the original 2019 pick (the 30th pick) that was the major trading piece to get Savage.

PS I am not a Gutekunst apologist. If I think he screws something up, I'll acknowledge it. Getting Jimmy Graham was an example of something that didn't work very well, but you have to give things time to analyse success or failure.

Coldworld's picture

Sheesh, I don’t know what more he could do in 2 drafts. More than we have done in a long time already. Not all of those picks are going to work. If Gute’s roster starts to turn it around this year meaningfully, that will have been one heck of an achievement climbing out of the pit he inherited.

Old School's picture

Pit? 9 out of 11 members of the starting offense are going to be McCarthy/TT era holdovers, including Rodgers many of our best players.

Defensively, Gute has made quite a few changes but 1/3 of the active roster this year will still be McCarthy/TT holders. Martinez, Clark, Daniels, Lowry, Fackrell, Josh Jones, Kenny King,

I don't think our talent ever was that bad. Even when we lost at home to the Cardinals, our talent was good enough to win that game.

For many years, our pass defense has been bad. Nick Collins neck started it, and Woodson got old, and we made some business decisions on Micah Hyde and Craig Heyward, and we missed badly on Randall and Rollins.

Fix the pass defense and this is a very competitive team. The offense should be a 25+ ppg offense. It rarely turns the ball over. If our pass defense could improve on the meager 7 interceptions last year then we should win the turnover battle most games, and that's a big advantage.

So that's why I think it was Savage. This is Gutekunst saying "this is the guy". IF he plays well and stays healthy, Gutekunst will look pretty smart here because the guys involved in these plays will be the guys Gutekunst has brought in since his arrival.

I think that's the plan. Generate more turnovers on defense.

Coldworld's picture

Savage is a rookie. You expect too much too quickly. A big step forward I believe, but not going to be the finished article this year.

If you believe that this team had a close to serviceable overall roster at the time of Gute’s appointment, then we simply disagree.

DThomas's picture

stockholder, if you haven't seen the Packers gamble on need in the previous 20 years, you haven't been paying attention. Trading up to draft Clay was gambling ("one year wonder") for a need for a new DC's new scheme. All GMs draft for need, only the extent they do so differs. Even the great Ron Wolf did: Randy Moss breaks out (particularly vs the Packers) & in the next draft the first three "BPAs" just happen to be CBs?
I get why you dont like the Gary pick & think Gutekunst paid too much for Savage, but you don't have to distort history to make those points

LambeauPlain's picture

I read ML had Pettine atop of his list for DC when he first interviewed with the Pack.

He also wanted Campen to stay but James got a big promotion in Cleveland as he was named Assoc. HC and O line Coach and the salary to go with it.

He is now positioned to become a HC candidate.

dobber's picture

I think there was tremendous motivation for LaF in keeping Pettine. A veteran voice on the sideline who isn't playing on the HCs side of the ball and gives the HC more focus on his area of expertise, and another year of growth in the same system for the defense. I think that growth will be a big thing (although it's looking as if 4 of 11 defensive starters will be new).

jannes bjornson's picture

LeFleur should have his own crew. The secondary got sloppy under Whitt.
Campen can run all versions of line play but may have been loyal to McCarthy in Murphy's eyes?? We'll have to wait in out until September.

Coldworld's picture

I heard Campen wanted to stay but want given the chance.

jannes bjornson's picture

I know he was reluctant to leave. Some meddling going on in Packertown.

4thand1's picture

Patience and NFL are two things that don't go together . Our new coach and GM will feel some major heat if this team isn't in the playoff hunt in Dec. We saw what happened with AR playing and this team falling flat on its face.

dobber's picture

The comment people used to make was that an elite QB is good for 6-8 wins every season...the Packers were 6-9-1 last year.

This is a win-now league. All teams are looking for quick turnarounds and nobody wants to hear about 4 or 5 year plans. The honeymoon will be short for LaF, and it will be hard to call anything short of double-digit wins a successful year.

Old School's picture

An average team goes 8-8, so if an average team gas an elite QB....do they just go 14-2? And when we went 4-12 with TWO HOF QBs on the roster....what was that?

I think an elite QB is worth two or three more wins over an average one. Not more than that.

D.D. Driver's picture

It really depends. If the Smiths flop, Gutes (and by extension Murphy's) seat will be white hot because it will be two offseason's of bad free agent pick ups. And if the CEO/GM are let go, all bets are off and Lafleur might be collateral damage.

If the Smiths play well enough, even if the Packers miss the playoffs, I think the current regime limps into another season.

Mark Gaedtke's picture

It's all speculation for now. Tempered optimism makes the most sense to me. Unrealistic expectations make for a miserable season/life. Looks like a fascinating scenario is about to unfold in GB and the anticipation is half the fun. . .

Samson's picture

All people connected to an NFL team from the hierarchy to the coaches to the players are experienced and professional to many varying levels..... just like any organization. --- However, the NFL is media driven.

The media has an annoying habit of adding (or exaggerating) drama in an issue where it doesn't necessarily exist.... That's how the media competes. --- It's how they make money.

In reality, for the Pack, the on-field results are all that matter.---I'm guessing 11 or 12 regular season wins with a 'nice' run in the playoffs in 2019. -- Get ready, only a few more weeks.

Since &#039;61's picture

Speculation and hype are all we have at this point. The Dunne and Silverstein articles added intrigue to the speculation and hype and not much else.

Until September we won’t have much else besides speculation and hype. The team looks improved on paper but just like the paper used for Dunne and Silverstein’s articles it doesn’t mean anything.

On the positive side the team, especially the defense, is younger, faster and more athletic than it has been for a long time. On offense, after Rodgers, Adams, Bak and Linsley we have questions at WR, TE, RB and OL.

We are going to see glimpses of what this offense can be early in the season. Hopefully if they remain healthy we’ll see them come together and gel during the second half of the season. The defense under Pettine should be solid at least and again if they remain healthy should improve as the season goes on.

MLF and the team have a large learning curve this season. Our next checkpoint is the end of TC and who is in the final 53. If we begin the season intact (health wise) it will be a huge plus for our new HC. The sooner he gets his first win under his belt the better. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

RCPackerFan's picture

My biggest take away from the Silverstein and Dunne pieces is that there are disgruntled, bitter and unhappy people in and outside of 1265. Not saying that any of them are right or wrong, but it seems like some don't like what has or what is happening.

Some may feel that way because they didn't get the job they wanted, or their friends didn't, or some may feel that way because what happened didn't go the way they felt it should have. Honestly who knows. Yes the structure is different now then it was 20 years ago, but it doesn't mean this way won't work either. Doesn't mean it will either. Only time will tell..

As far as LaFleur, he may have been suggested to keep Pettine and maybe during the interview process he was the only one that said he would be willing to keep him, regardless there is a good reason why they kept Pettine. He is a great defensive mind. Also he is entering his 2nd year as the defensive coach. Meaning the defense should be better right away, and should help if there are any lulls in the offense. They went out and added 5 new starting caliber players to the defense which should fit well with what Pettine wants to do.

As far as the offensive coaches that LaFleur brought in, I'm pretty sure he didn't hire any guys he didn't want to. If LaFleur was advised to keep some guys or get rid of some, there obviously was reasons behind it. I'm sure he took what the upper management told him and build his own decision on it. Not really any different then any type of workplace.

There are always coaching changes made. I am willing to bet that a few of these coaches hired this year will not be here next year. It takes a while to figure out who is good and who you want to keep, whether they fit well with what you are looking for.

LaFleur has had to deal with a quite a bit of stuff in his first year as a HC. But to this point he seems to be doing a good job with it all. We have heard there is a new energy in the locker room. We have seen LaFleur out throwing passes to players. Things like that can create new energy.
All that matters though is what it looks like on the field. We have about 2-3 months to start seeing it. There will be mistakes made a long the way. Its how this team reacts to those mistakes that will tell us more about LaFleur and his staff.

porupack's picture

Always enjoy your level headed assessments, RCP.

>>>>If LaFleur was advised to keep some guys or get rid of some, there obviously was reasons behind it. I'm sure he took what the upper management told him and build his own decision on it. Not really any different then any type of workplace.<<<<

Exactly. I've joined new organizations and appreciate advise and strong advise from superiors, as they certainly have history, and experience on some things and people.

D Ernie's picture

I dont envy the task for LeFluer.
This is a brutal season coming up. Really there are no weak sisters this year. All the teams with losing records last year got very healthy through the draft and will not go down easy: SF, Giants, Raiders, Panthers, Lions
Second, while he got rid of a lot of deadwood and thats a good thing he has youth and inexperience to replace them with so who knows what that brings.
Last, he must orchestrate his new coaches and himself to a coaching style and mantra if you will of what he expects.
I for one will not blame him if things dont go great this year.

Sol's picture

A football has a very odd shape and takes many strange bounces. Just as the next season will be sure to have. I am sure that A-Rod will continue to work his magic if healthy. But the thing I am hoping for and want to see most is getting off the field on third down. Just about everything they have done in the off season and draft seems to have been done to promote this. If there is a major improvement in this area I am looking forward to a great season and hopefully the playoffs.

4thand1's picture

The odds makers seem to think the Pack will be back.

Tarynfor12's picture

That's the Rodgers effect as has been for several years now and that effect has not payed out well enough to support or back that thinking.

RCPackerFan's picture

Not entirely true.

Don't get me wrong Rodgers changes everything, but its not just about Rodgers now. On offense they have Adams and Jones. A trio of 2nd year WR's who look to be improved. The OL should be improved as well. And a new scheme/new look offense which shouldn't be as predictable.

They have Pettine back for a 2nd year.
They added a minimum of 3 starters to the defense this offseason, with up to 5. Upgrading both their Edge (pass rush) and Safety positions with these moves.
They have a CB who earned high honors as a rookie going into his 2nd season, and another 2nd year CB who really stepped up his game at the end of the year.
The writing is on the wall that this defense has the makings to be really good this year.

There is a lot of good things to talk about this team. Oddsmakers see the potential. Now it needs to become reality.

Samson's picture

I agree. --- The roster has been changed with added athleticism, speed, depth & experience.

You forgot maybe the main addition to the "new" GB Packers in 2019. -- MLF is younger, more progressive & not afraid of change. MLF can actually think on his feet. ............ This is going to be a change that nets only positive results.

Tarynfor12's picture

This is a new era/time for GB and nobody knows what to expect until we actually get to see this team in some level of action.

We have a few early signed FA's who have been talked up as erasing the poor OLB play of recent years. We have draft picks that have made head scratching not as rigorous as in the recent past but still called for some scratching.

We have a schedule that isn't very kind, a new coaching staff, an aging QB, an OL that is resting much on the knees on one,a turnstile, and a couple more that aren't as versatile as some believe.

We have a WR group that outside of one, needs to show more than the inconsistency previously witnessed, a QB with an ego that can very well disrupt any game plan via a penchant to throw 40 yd bombs on 3rd and 1-2.

There's much to wait on before announcing ' The Pack is Back ' mantra as a mantra that will be supported by the roar of the team itself.

Packerpasty's picture

if that WR group doesn't step up this team is still hanging around mediocre...that a pretty big "if"....I don't blame Rodgers one bit if he gets pissed if these guys can't run the correct routes again this year...

jannes bjornson's picture

I'll put money on E-quan to step up his game. The others will have to show more than a two-three route concept proficiency. Still would be nice to secure a veteranWR or Rudolph.

Coldworld's picture

Even if, hypothetically, all the WRs stay at the exact same level of competence as last year, the O line improvement at least right guard at a minimum and in depth in the event of injury should give Rodgers more time. That alone would in my view tesult in a significant boost to offensive production on its own.

jannes bjornson's picture

Both Guard spots are wide open for improvement. Put the best guys in those spots. Still quite a bit of dealing to be done before the summer league.

Qoojo's picture

Well, Holmgren took over a much worse team. Rhodes and Sherman were too in awe of Favre, who needs a strong controlling coach, "No more rocket balls". Also, the defense was depleted after White and others left. MM took over team with a lot of holes defensively and offensively. Plus, all the drama at QB.

This year is a bit different because the team is much better positioned defensively and offensively than in the past 1st year for coaches. I do think people are being a bit too optimistic. MLF has a huge learning curve for what it takes at HC. Not saying he can't handle it, but it is a new position and responsibility for him. There are a lot of little details that he is going to find out the hard way (losses, lost time, lack of details, ...).

The hope is that stability at defense and having Rodgers will allow him to implement his offense and improve the team. I do expect a much better offense, but then I thought the offense would be better last year too.

porupack's picture

Jason, this is a disappointing piece from you. In fact, everytime you write about such organizational structure, and make speculations, I find it awful journalism, and so unlike your usual high quality, which I normally admire and commend you for.

Your first 8 paragraphs were all wasted words (yet again) on organizational structure and had nothing to do with the point of your article; MLF needs patience.

Your only substance for needing patience is;
1) he has to gel with the number of new coaches (duh, what new coach doesn't?).

2) Like some notable predecessors, e.g., Holmgren, no new HC wins in the first year.

BS on all of your article. No.
He doesn't need to be patient any more or less than any coach, any season, any level of experience.

He was hired to assume pressure, and perform under pressure. Aim high. Coach well. Organize and empower the subordinate coaches. Be bold. Be aggressive. Take chances, innovate. Learn, and go bold again. WTH is patient got to do with anything? What does your admonishment to be patient with day to day pragmatics? Its a useless vague admonishment. Kind of like, "be careful, son".
Boo on the whole article..

And such awful use of the implied prediction, of historical statistic of (first year HCs never went to the playoffs history). So useless as a predictor, with so many confounding variables, and limited to just Greenbay.

Or....you should have just told fans to be patient and kept the article to one sentence. Or rather, tell CHTV readers to be patient as you grapple again with this speculation. I hope you get a sense of my subtle feedback.

porupack's picture

er….patience, not patients.

Tarynfor12's picture

The article is well written but the premise is suspect.

Typical Packer propaganda tactic...

Tell you how good/great things are going to be and in the same writing/breath tell you not to be upset if that expectation/success doesn't emerge....In other words, write something that incorporates the ' if ' whether used in the writing or oration to cover one's ass sitting on the fence.

Coldworld's picture

Hedging his bets rather than propagandizing surely. But it got us talking in the dead zone so where is the harm?

jasonperone's picture

I did get a sense and I have to hope you were being tongue in cheek with the use of the term "subtle". That got a chuckle. I debated whether I spent too much time backgrounding this so that feedback confirms, at least in your case, that I did and in the process, I buried the lede.

I admittedly do not hold a journalism degree and to clear the record here, Al doesn't tell us what to write. We choose our topics and research/write on our own. I chose to recap the situation as I did so as not to assume that everyone is aware of what has been said/written before.

That said and I believe I've made this point before so this is the last time I'll defend a topic or reason for writing about something. I write to promote discussion and/or inform, when I can. If that happens, it was worthwhile, to me. To each their own on that approach but it's not changing. We aren't credentialed writers. We write about what we can glean from what is widely reported and already largely known by the fan base. What else can you expect in the middle of May?

I feel like I hear the same comments here between the draft and training camp so boo on that.

porupack's picture

Jason, glad to hear your comeback. Again, I usually appreciate your posts, and I'll be sure to gush with more compliments....and compensate this one a little.

jasonperone's picture

You’re good Por...it’s quality over quantity. Keep keeping it real and don’t feel the need to compensate. Thanks for reading

Coldworld's picture

It’s the dead season. Frankly, the fact that it has prompted as many comments as it has tends to counter the critique. I’d rather have something and nothing, personally.

gary g's picture

It's amazing how many people on this site are so negative about Gute, the draft, team depth. It's only May 13. Enjoy the journey of a very active off season. There are no teams in the NFL that have everything perfect. Stockholder if you hit the lottery in the morning, won the noble peace prize in the afternoon you would still find something to complain about. Try to relax and enjoy brother.

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