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New Coaching Regime Has New Ideas in Green Bay

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New Coaching Regime Has New Ideas in Green Bay

The newly minted head coach of the Packers, Matt LaFleur, has his own ideas about the direction of the franchise and he gave us some hints when introducing his new coaching staff to the media. Fourteen of the staff of 24 were not working for the Packers last season and bonding with Aaron Rodgers will be critical to the success or failure of the new regime. Rodgers is the undisputed linchpin of the team and getting him on board will be chief among LaFleur’s to-do list.

If you click over to Sportsbook Review, you will see that a section of all the best online sportsbooks, including a Bovada review, tells us that the Packers are considered a top 10 contender for next season’s Super Bowl at odds of 16-1 (tied with Dallas and Minnesota). Therefore, LaFleur’s youth and lack of head coaching experience do not seem to be a deterrent to the oddsmakers, despite the disappointing results from last season.

In fact, LaFleur wooed former Akron quarterback Luke Getsy back to the Packers’ fold after his one-year stint as the Mississippi State offensive coordinator. Getsy had spent two years working under Green Bay quarterback’s coach Alex Van Pelt and was then promoted to receiver’s coach in 2016 before taking the Mississippi State job. He is now the quarterback’s coach and will build on his relationship with Rodgers after working with him from 2014-2016 under Van Pelt.

Getsy had this to say about his role, “I see (this) as an opportunity to help each one of those guys play at the highest level they can. That’s Aaron, that’s DeShone (Kizer), that’s Tim (Boyle), and whoever else might come into that room. That’s my job so I’m going to deliver the message and hold those guys accountable to it and then hopefully help them to the highest level of play.”

While that sounds like unadulterated coach-speak, his main job is to keep Rodgers on point and in harmony with the offense, unlike last season when the festering feud between Rodgers and former head coach Mike McCarthy turned malignant, leading to his dismissal. Whatever passing mechanics and knowledge Getsy brings to his new role is almost ancillary to keeping Rodgers’ emotional state content and happy. The plan is that Rodgers will be reinvigorated with the new coaching staff and will do what he does best – win.

Expect the running game to be emphasized this upcoming season as LaFleur was responsible for the Titans’ play-calling in his role as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator in 2018. LaFleur seamlessly integrated powerback Derrick Henry and scatback Dion Lewis into a running game that was among the league’s most prolific. Newly hired offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett also focused on the running game in his duties as OC for the Jaguars. If the Packers can successfully employ Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams to get the rushing game in motion, then it will buy more time for Rodgers in the pocket when the Packers do launch their passing attack. Green Bay needs to be more unpredictable this season and that should bode well for an offense that was middling at best in terms of points scored last year.

There will be plenty of more pieces for LaFleur to move around the chessboard before the season commences and that includes free agency, as well as the upcoming draft. However, the Packers are hoping the 39-year-old LaFleur will bring new ideas, ala Sean McVay in LA, and a renewed sense of urgency to win in the here and now. Packers fans have endured a few rough years and it’s about time the franchise gets back to the postseason. Hopefully, the new coaching staff can make that happen. 

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Rak47's picture

Will be interesting to see whether it's the offense or the defense that takes the lead this year, and also if the other two units keep pace. I expect more of a learning curve on offense as this will be year 2 for Pettine's defense. But which unit will improve the most? Offense, defense, or Special teams? Can't wait to find out.

Jonathan Spader's picture

STs will improve the most the bar has been set the lowest for them.

The TKstinator's picture

Again with the Sportsbook, Ed? We’re not all LVT.

Trapped in MN BUT GB fan's picture

I just hope the offense becomes unpredictable and receivers aren’t just expected to break free from the coverage and are instead schemed open. Watched the super bowl with MM and AR and I saw the same plays that we ran this year. Little wonder announcers and fans could predict the plays. Go Pack in 2019!

Lare's picture

We can talk all we want about what LaFleur and the offensive coaches want to do, but it's simply not going to happen unless Gutekunst gives them the tools they need to be successful.

First of all, they need a very good offensive line to run the ball and give Rodgers protection. They don't have that right now and they'll need at least one new starter and 2-3 more additions for quality depth.

Next, they need a power running back that can stay healthy. Williams is decent and Jones is very good when he's healthy, but I don't see them being the showcase RB on a power rushing team.

Finally, they need a very good TE that can block, get open and catch the ball. Not sure if Graham fits that mold, if not they'll need to replace him in order for the offense to function well.

While all the offseason gurus are predicting big splashes in FA and the draft bringing in a lot of players to improve the defense, I think Gutekunst and LaFleur are well aware of what needs to be done in order for this team to be successful.

LambeauPlain's picture

Thumbs up!

Yes, we need pass rushers and S, but O line is an area of great need for two key reasons:

1. Unlike MM who only gave lip service to the run game, ML and Hackett actually use it to set the offense’s they need bull dozers to plow the road

2. Much better interior pass pro to keep Aaron on his feet and not taking all those hits and sacks

There are few very good G/T prospects in the draft that could play G next season and be ready to step in eventually for Bulaga.

Cheezdik's picture

None of this matters if Green Bay didn't quit screwing around and finally draft a damn OLB. Every year they bypass drafting a stud linebacker and every year the defense sucks. Absolutely zero pressure on the opposing QB. It's ridiculous. Hope Gute has a better draft than he had last year. He produced two good players out of last year's draft. Still no pass defense. Packers are stuck with lousy Kevin King and the inept Josh Jackson. He had a horrible first year. Burnt by third string receivers. Guy is slow. Also hope Packers draft a small back a day receiver who can catch short passes out of the backfield. No more flinging prayer passes all over the field. We should have a short yardage passing game like the Pats. Mark Murphy finally woke up but he woke up three drafts too late.

Turophile's picture

cheezdik is wrong (imo) about almost everything he/she comments on here.

Firstly, the sacks. The Packers did well enough getting to the QB last year, ranking 9th in sacks. Now I, and most others, believe the Packers DO need a pass rusher in the draft (especially if Clay Matthews is let go), I'm not arguing against that........but the 'zero-pressure' comment simply isn't true.

Next comes the 'two good players' out of the last draft comment. Too soon, bud. When these guys are beginning their THIRD season with the Packers, you should have a good idea who is and who isn't good, but after one season........NO.

Kevin King is lousy.............child please. Josh Jackson inept ? Wait until he has another season under his belt and see if he gets tried at safety, which given his great instincts, diagnostic skills reading the QB, and his average (for a CB) speed, it is probably the best spot for him. If the shift to safety worked, it would fill a big need for the Packers

I don't even know what "a small back a day receiver" is. The Packers do need a slot receiver (if that is what you mean). There is veteran FA and there will still be good slot talent in round 4 of the draft, it's a very good year for WR depth. Of course, it isn't impossible that the Packers view ESB as a future slot guy, he has such good athleticism for a tall guy, and teams seem more willing to go with bigger guys there than in the past. If you are ok with a smaller slot receiver, then guys like Penny Hart or Andy Isabella should be available in round 4 of this draft.

I would expect a RB in the mid to later part of the draft, LaFleur seems fairly committed to the run, so a solid third RB is something that is very likely to happen. If that pick turns into a decent RB, then the Packers look well-set, with three viable runners.

The 'flinging prayer passes' comment is fair enough, but the Packers are not the Pats, and if you have the ability to toss a pinpoint pass deep, then you would be an idiot not to use that ON OCCASION. When you have an arm like Rodgers, you pick spots where you make use of it.

Murphy 'waking up' three drafts too late'..............well I don't entirely disagree here, but it would be fairer to say a year late.

PatrickGB's picture

A good run game, open receivers and decent pass rush is all I think the offense needs to improve. For the defense an edge rusher good safety and inside DL push would be enough to improve.
Edit: also ANY improvements from STs!

Matt Gonzales's picture

It’s not flashy or sexy, but it all starts with the run game. The Packers passing offense is going to benefit if they can force teams to commit the 8th man to stopping the run, and winning TOP with the ground game keeps your defense fresh and limits what opposing offenses can do.

None of this means anything though if AR won’t run the called plays.

LeotisHarris's picture

Anyone know where I can learn about sports betting? It's important to me to know how the oddsmakers view the Packers. When I win $5K a week *for life* from Publisher's Clearing House later this month, I'm going to bet at least $4,999 a week on sports. Life is dull and purposeless without betting.

leaerin4's picture

I really like the mock draft 6.0. The combine is next weekend and I enjoy watching the drills that the coaches put these talented players through. It helps you find out just who has it and who doesn't. Polite will be one guy I'll be watching on defense and the two Iowa tight ends Fant and Hochensen. I agree with the mock draft that these guys will be on Green Bay's radar. A wide receiver at 44 or a running back would be nice to double dip on offense for a change. Offensive line must be addressed with the 75th pick and then again at 108 or 112.

LambeauPlain's picture

The newest idea will be to actually employ the run game to keep #12 healthy and give him opportunities to rifle passes to more open receivers.

I believe drafting another RB will be a higher draft priority than another WR....even if Cobb leaves.

From my armchair:

Days one and two: BAP at OLB/Edge, S, TE, OL, or DL

Day three: BAP at OL, OL, OL, RB, OLB/Edge, or WR

Zebra 3's picture

What I really like is the increase of running plays.

I know it's not quite like the old days of "3 yards and a cloud of dust" but, a solid run game will open up so many play action passes and take a little pressure off of Rodgers and cut down on sacks. I would also expect a good increase in TOP on the clock.

Less time for the defense being on the field.

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