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Matt LaFleur, new Packers' coaches plan to hit Aaron Rodgers "from all angles"

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Matt LaFleur, new Packers' coaches plan to hit Aaron Rodgers "from all angles"

-- If there were an underlying emphasis with each one of the prominent offensive coaching hires made in Green Bay the past two months, the desire to create a quarterback-friendly environment would likely be it.

Like a monsoon, sweeping changes were made -- once again -- in the Green Bay Packers' organization in the early phases of the offseason. Unlike 2018, which seemed to focus almost entirely on executive and distinguished front office positions, 2019 saw a complete reworking of the coaching staff, starting with the hiring of Matt LaFleur as the team's new head coach.

From then on, LaFleur would assemble much of his own staff as well as retain defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for a second season with the team.

His two key offensive hires, however, are expected to be crucial in helping engineer a turnaround for quarterback Aaron Rodgers in his age 36 season: Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator and Luke Getsy returning to the team as Rodgers' quarterbacks coach.

Hackett has worked on offense for much of his coaching career and held various quarterbacks coach positions, and Getsy was a former undrafted quarterback signed to the San Francisco 49ers in 2007. His coaching career, much like Hackett, has revolved around offense and quarterbacks for its near entirety.

At a press conference on Monday introducing his completed staff, LaFleur and the aforementioned members of his offensive staff spoke regarding working with Rodgers and the schematics behind it.

"We have three quarterback guys hitting him from all angles," LaFleur said. He was sure to note that he'd be involved in every quarterback meeting the team will have, offering Rodgers three different minds that intend on meshing into one for his best interest. Each will offer their own ideas on how to operate, including Rodgers, but their true chemistry will reside in whether or not they're able to gel with that many competitive viewpoints.

Rodgers' former quarterbacks coach, Alex Van Pelt, chose to pursue other opportunities at the end of last season and wasn't retained. It was a move that ultimately upset Rodgers, but as a way to seemingly consolate for that, Getsy -- a familiar face -- was hired on to work with Rodgers after Frank Cignetti Jr. was fired after one season.

Getsy previously served in Green Bay as an offensive quality control coach for two seasons and a wide receivers coach for two more in 2016. But now, helping rejuvenate Rodgers' career in an offense that not only plays to his strengths but elevates him and the players around him, is his mission.

"It didn't have to be a guy that necessarily worked with Aaron," LaFleur said. "We were going to find the best QB coach out there.

"What I really liked about Luke is the fact that he played QB in college. I reached out to Aaron and a couple of other guys with him being in the building before to find out what they thought about him as a man and as a coach."

The Packers have been relatively grounded on offense for much of the last few seasons under LaFleur's predecessor, Mike McCarthy. Their primary goal in bringing LaFleur aboard -- as someone with experience working in the systems of some of the league's best offensive-minded coaches -- was to implement a newfound philosophy and help keep Rodgers and co. up to par with the rest of the rapidly-changing league.

There's no reason why a team with Rodgers at the helm should have struggled the way the Packers did last season, and while many factors play into their downright befuddling performance from a year ago -- Rodgers' knee injury, poor interior offensive line play and rookie receivers playing significant snaps -- the top teams typically find ways to combat adversity.

The Packers haven't been able to do that.

"I think a lot of the same concepts kind of cross over," Hackett said of his offense, which shouldn't offer too much of a learning curve for Rodgers as he enters his 15th season. "Just the emphasis on some of the things that we want to do will be different."

Hackett has worked with Blake Bortles with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the last four seasons, both as a quarterbacks coach and as an offensive coordinator. He helped engineer one of the league's best offenses -- led by Bortles -- in 2017 en route to the AFC Championship.

Working with Rodgers offers Hackett not only the chance to work with an experienced, veteran player such as Rodgers, but also someone who is widely recognized as one of the most talented passers in the modern era. With those luxuries comes someone who also presents flexibility in anything Hackett would want to run.

"When you take Aaron Rodgers, who's a very good football player, he's one of those guys who can do a lot of everything. Some of it's going to carry over; a lot of the language will be different.

"You don't want to treat it as a start over, because he's done so many great things. The whole thing is about working together and bonding together."

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Handsback's picture

When you mention a top league offenses lead by Bortles and Hackett in the same sentence..... I want him to be the coordinator for the Packers.

The TKstinator's picture

1. “Aforementioned”!! Welcome back!
2. As long as it’s the coaches and not Anthony Barr hitting Rodgers “from all angles”...

Old School's picture

Zack...'there's no reason the offense....with Rodgers....should have struggled.'

Yeah, there was. Lots of reasons.

First, our QB was injured in the opener and couldn't practice for a few weeks and played with a pretty good size brace.

Second, by all accounts, the relationship between McCarthy and Rodgers became dysfunctional.

Third, Rodgers' favorite target was released before the season. Then Cobb and Allison both got hurt and the only WRs on the field with Rodgers were Davante Adams and some rookies.

Fourth, as the season progressed, the offensive line had some issues. Taylor played hurt, Bell couldn't get it done at RG, Bulaga wore down and the backups....Spriggs and McCray...weren't particularly helpful.

So yeah, there's reasons the offense struggled, even with Rodgers. You still have to execute.

Samson's picture

The "new regime" on offense has to be a breath of fresh air for AR. -- The stagnant, dull, slow, lethargic & moribund offense of MM is gone. -- Now surround AR with a few better players & the rest is up to AR. -- He'll have to make it work.

Lare's picture

According to Nathaniel Hackett today "a lot of the same concepts from Packers offense under Mike McCarthy, which Aaron Rodgers has run his entire career, will carry over. Expects different terminology and also different emphasis on certain concepts, but same, core principles."

So Lafleur is keeping a lot of McCarthy's offensive concepts and pretty much the same S&C program and staff. And we still have Ted Thompson helping Gutekunst make key decisions on improving the talent on the team.

Change is hard.

JohnnyLogan's picture

Not music to anyone's ears.

Old School's picture

From Murphy's public statement after the firing of Mike McCarthy:

"We needed a new messenger".

He didn't say new message. For all the blather about how his scheme was old, tired, predictable, etc.....the bottom line is that the plays worked well enough for us to finish somewhere between average and above average in just about every significant offensive category, despite the injuries and the dysfunction.

Even when we were last in rushing attempts, we were 2nd in yards/attempt. The plays worked when we executed. Imagine that.

There is no reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater. As long as we protect the QB by running more and throwing less, by throwing quickly instead of these scramble drills.....our offense is going to be fine.

CJ Bauckham's picture

The concepts are shared because McCarthy's mentor was Hackett's dad. Lafluer is bringing new ideas and by hiring Hackett he's packaging it in a way Rodgers will understand. We'll see if the logic holds up.

carlos's picture

Most offensive system have many similarities to a point. It’s the coaches who can design the new wrinkles and teach and coach up the players to execute within their system who have success. Also being able to adapt and adjust during games is a huge key. Teaching layers to play smart. A good example is New England Patriots. They play smart most of the time.

splitpea1's picture

It's almost starting to feel a little bit like we've got a puppet coach and GM. Let's hope not. And we definitely don't need Ted's "help" anymore. What about this new Milt guy? Let's maybe turn to him for help in making some of those key decisions.

Lare's picture

That's got my vote. Milt Hendrickson is supposed to be an expert in assessing offensive line talent, which in my opinion is the #1 need for the Packers.

Ted did okay for OL, but he also had a lot of misses.

Nick Perry's picture

I don't know about that Lare…. Look at the Packers O-Linemen selected in the 5th round or earlier since 2005. There's a lot of All-Pros in that list and some other damn good O-Linemen and this is coming from a guy who isn't very fond of ole Ted Thompson.

If you needed a WR in the 2nd or 3rd round, an O-Linemen in the 4th or 5th round, you'd be hard pressed to find a GM who could pick em better than Thompson.

splitpea1's picture

Regardless of what Ted did or didn't do in the past, it would be nice to see the Packers retire him once and for all. No need for any continuity here. The training wheels should be off the new GM by now, and if we have another assistant GM who can provide some fresh perspective, then that's good enough for me.

jannes bjornson's picture

He was referring to West Coast Concepts in the offense.

Coach JV's picture

Exactamundo!

Oppy's picture

MM's offense is definitely a branch off the WCO, but MM himself would tell you it's more along the lines of the Vertical offense (which is extremely similar concepts in terms of WRs running dynamic routes based on the way the defense is playing them), but He was likely referring to the fact that MM's entire offensive scheme was molded directly by his father, who was Mike McCarthy's offensive mentor.. and I'd guess probably quite influential in his own offensive development.. Because, Dad.

Oppy's picture

I kinda tried to drop the hint about this on day 1:

cheeseheadtv.com/blog/packers-hire-nathaniel-hackett-as-oc-116#comment-405255

Bure9620's picture

When you refer to concepts, these are cross over concepts from the West coast offense. Concepts are similar across the league. Slat/flat, Levels, Bench. But the actual play can develop differently.

albert999's picture

Really enjoyed all the new coach press conferences!
A lot of focus and energy and smart talking football to help MLF

Uncle Albert

LeotisHarris's picture

Like a monsoon, "aforementioned" arrived in paragraph 6, only to be grounded by the notion that true chemistry will reside in whether or not they're able to gel with that many competitive viewpoints. Red Smith lives on!

Qoojo's picture

Just stay away from the knees and don't drive the shoulder into the ground.

Yooper56's picture

Rodgers is a Diva who is most concerned with not throwing INTs. Unless we have coaches that he wants to listen to, nothing will change with him. When the inmate runs the asylum, nothing good can come of it. What other QB do you hear that the receivers have to earn his trust, blah, blah, blah.

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