Not long before getting job offer, Matt LaFleur got a call from Aaron Rodgers

AP

The Packers’ official position was that quarterback Aaron Rodgers would have no input in the search for a new coach. Unofficially, well, did anyone really believe that the Packers would hire a coach without getting the approval of their $33.5 million face of the franchise?

During Wednesday’s introductory press conference, new Packers coach Matt LaFleur admitted he got a phone call from Rodgers before LaFleur received a job offer.

“That’s kind of how I had an idea that maybe I was in the running for it,” LaFleur told reporters, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.

“The conversation went great,” LaFleur said. “I can tell he’s a passionate guy, and he wants to win. And I think that holds true for me as well. So I think we’re in alignment there because, like I said before, this game is about winning. I know that he wants to add to his legacy, and the only way we’re going to accomplish that is to win a world championship.”

Coincidentally (or not), the call from Rodgers was followed shortly thereafter by a call from Packers CEO Mark Murphy and G.M. Brian Gutekunst offering the job. LaFleur was riding in a car, his wife driving.

“I thought we were going to get in a car accident,” LaFleur said. “She was at the wheel. It was incredible. When I tell you I was speechless, I was speechless because there’s just so much tradition here, and I can’t think of a greater place to be a head coach in this league, and really in all of sports. This is a dream come true for me.”

The dream came true partially because of Rodgers. Beyond from the obvious dot-connecting between the two phone calls, league insiders and observers strongly believe that LaFleur became the guy because he’s the guy Rodgers ultimately wanted. And LaFleur is the guy who will let the player in whom the Packers have invested so much money run the offense the way he wants, like Peyton Manning did, especially during his time in Denver.

It worked for Manning, by the way. The notion of Rodgers having more control has developed a negative connotation because the Packers have resisted it. Maybe they should just embrace it, because it will now be part of the team’s reality for as long as Rodgers remains on the roster.

61 responses to “Not long before getting job offer, Matt LaFleur got a call from Aaron Rodgers

  1. Wait, I thought Philbin was the guy you all said Aaron wanted for the job and would get the job. What happened to that?

  2. OK. Here we go. Now all fans, media and NFL schedulers will be back to the notion that Green By is a Juggernaut which deserves national attention, 7 prime time games, all at home and a final division game against the Bears or Vikings.

  3. rageviral says:
    January 10, 2019 at 5:30 am
    Aaron Rodgers. The expert in the throw away so it doesn’t hurt your stats.

    ——————————————————————————————-

    And you are one of the same people who ripped Brett Favre for throwing picks by forcing the ball.
    Don’t cry too much when Rodgers is a first ballot Hall Of Fame QB.

  4. For all you Rodgers haters who are ripping him, answer this question for me. How come Mike McCarthy hasn’t been inundated with head coaching jobs by NFL teams looking for a new head coach? The Jets turned him down by the way, and reports are surfacing it’s the job he wanted.
    Now it’s being reported that McCarthy will sit out a year then return to coaching next year. I hate to break the news to him, but he might not be wanted next year, either.
    As a Packers fan, all I can say is this does not surprise me at all.

  5. Anyone who believed Murphy that Rodgers would have no input was crazy. Now we know the obvious that Aaron had the final input. I am not saying that is bad with all the money the Pack invested in him. Now LaFleur’s success or failure is on Rodgers’ shoulders.

  6. So LaFleur is saying his qualifications consist of being passionate and wanting to win. Wonderful.

    There is no reason to think he can handle this job, and he himself seems to be as stunned as anyone that the Packers offered it to him.

  7. When a player with Rodgers accuracy throws a pass away, there is nothing there. That’s the way it should be, live to fight another day. Enjoy the next few years with Cousin’s as your QB. Ignoring a QB with this talent and knowledge is not the way to go.

  8. Quite honestly candidates for Head Coach and OC SHOULD meet with the Quarterback to make sure they’re compatible and can work well together. That’s just doing your due diligence. That said, a phone conversation shortly before the official offer seems a bit strange. If you have an upper tier QB, I’d think he should meet with candidates during the interview process and discuss things at that time.

  9. The only negativity I can identify is made up and from outside Wisconsin, created and sustained by either haters, sports media people with no dog in the fight but requiring the attention, or both. We’re good. We’re brainwashed to win. How it’s accomplished is of little consequence. Rodgers is the most critical piece to any decision, including the head coach. Do you think the Packers are concerned with who the quarterback and coach will be five years from now? Every team….every….single….team…is looking for “their Rodgers,” thank you very much.

  10. Lots of Rodgers bashing with this head coaching choice. He didn’t do the searching, interviewing or hiring. Wouldn’t you expect any teams starting Qb and any possible head coach candidate to pick each others brain a little bit before the job is taken? Think this is a good hire for Rodgers, the old offensive system was ancient and needed an upgrade.

  11. Very few people have looked at the other side of the ball. The Packers told LaFleur that Mike Pettine would be staying…period…as defensive coordinator.
    Almost always the new HC gets to pick his DC.
    Pettine is a good guy, the jury is still out on his defense. I would like to see more quality players under his tutorship. That said, what it appears to me is PETTINE is the HC and LaFleur is really just the offensive coordinator with the HC title.

    If the Packers had waited until the end of the season to sign the Diva to that ridiculous contract they might have had a different view of who should be in charge. Now their married to him for at least three more years.

  12. “Not long before getting job offer, Matt LaFleur got a call from Aaron Rodgers”

    ….was it so Aaron could explain who’s in charge?!

  13. Too many teams and QBs have seen their careers founder when a new head coach or O.C. comes in with his own ideas of how to run things — that do not correspond to the talent base on the field.

    The poster child for that was Mike Martz. My way or the highway is not the way to run a team.

  14. harryhodag says:
    January 10, 2019 at 7:30 am
    Very few people have looked at the other side of the ball. The Packers told LaFleur that Mike Pettine would be staying…period…as defensive coordinator.
    Almost always the new HC gets to pick his DC.
    Pettine is a good guy, the jury is still out on his defense. I would like to see more quality players under his tutorship. That said, what it appears to me is PETTINE is the HC and LaFleur is really just the offensive coordinator with the HC title.

    If the Packers had waited until the end of the season to sign the Diva to that ridiculous contract they might have had a different view of who should be in charge. Now their married to him for at least three more years.
    ///////////////////////////////////////

    The Packers were relieved LaFleur had the retention of Pettine on his wish list. They wouldn’t have interested anyone in the position if they made “demands” of that nature. They changed a flat tire, not the entire car. Lamborghini ‘s aren’t parked in all driveways.

  15. I didn’t believe for a second that Rodgers wouldn’t have any say in who coaches there. The coach and the franchise.player have to see eye to eye. You see what happened when McCarthy and Rodgers didn’t get along. Don’t need that again.

  16. This is going to be real interesting. Suffice to say, it won’t be the usual head coach – player dynamic. A couple years older than a Hall of Fame qb and as far as NFL coaches go, very little experience if we’re being honest. Maybe it works because sticking with the honesty theme, nobody has any idea. But interesting it will be.

  17. nyneal says:
    January 10, 2019 at 6:39 am

    For all you Rodgers haters who are ripping him, answer this question for me. How come Mike McCarthy hasn’t been inundated with head coaching jobs by NFL teams looking for a new head coach? The Jets turned him down by the way, and reports are surfacing it’s the job he wanted.
    Now it’s being reported that McCarthy will sit out a year then return to coaching next year. I hate to break the news to him, but he might not be wanted next year, either.
    As a Packers fan, all I can say is this does not surprise me at all.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    The answer to this question is quite simple (which is probably why you missed it), McCarthy has no incentive to work this year because the Packers still owe him millions. I would take the year off too if I was him. Money for nothing.

  18. Hollywood’s playbook
    1st Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    2nd Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    3rd Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    4th Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack

  19. Packers should just make Erin their new GM, coach and qb… another word, he can play football by himself since he makes decision of all things.

  20. Ok. I will admit I was wrong on Philbin.
    But I seriously doubt that LaFleur is going to hold Rodgers accountable.
    The last coach to state that, got fired immediately.

    I watched this presser. And after LaFleur made his “Aaron called me” comment, Gute immediately stated that “we asked Aaron to call”.
    LOL….
    Of course Gute had to attempt to stop the impression it was Aaron who hired LaFleur.

  21. stellarperformance says:
    January 10, 2019 at 7:18 am
    The only negativity I can identify is made up and from outside Wisconsin, created and sustained by either haters, sports media people with no dog in the fight but requiring the attention, or both. We’re good. We’re brainwashed.
    ——————————

    Agreed.

  22. nyneal says:
    January 10, 2019 at 6:39 am
    For all you Rodgers haters who are ripping him, answer this question for me. How come Mike McCarthy hasn’t been inundated with head coaching jobs by NFL teams looking for a new head coach?
    ———-
    Um….it were packer fans like you who said McCarthy would be a great coach for someone saying that he would get a job.
    Packer fans wanted him fired. Then said we fired him, but he is a great coach and will find another team quickly.

  23. nyneal says:
    January 10, 2019 at 6:39 am

    For all you Rodgers haters who are ripping him, answer this question for me. How come Mike McCarthy hasn’t been inundated with head coaching jobs by NFL teams looking for a new head coach? The Jets turned him down by the way, and reports are surfacing it’s the job he wanted.
    Now it’s being reported that McCarthy will sit out a year then return to coaching next year. I hate to break the news to him, but he might not be wanted next year, either.
    As a Packers fan, all I can say is this does not surprise me at all.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    The answer to this question is quite simple (which is probably why you missed it), McCarthy has no incentive to work this year because the Packers still owe him millions. I would take the year off too if I was him. Money for nothing.

    ===================

    Actually the answer is more complicated than that. McCarthy first was looking for a position close to GB. The only two that fit that bill in his eyes were both Cleveland and the Jets. He put the Cleveland job on hold, which they ultimatley hired Kitchens, and was only pursuing the Jets gig. The reason for this is because of his family. They have no intention on moving their family from GB, because he has kids in High School and they want them to finish out there and he was trying to find a gig that they/he could travel back and forth to easily.

    Its been pretty documented around him. So really the reason he isn’t being sought after is because he is turning down more interviews than he is accepting. You are right though about the salary that is a big help, but for Mike, the family situation was first.

  24. “Anyone who believed Murphy that Rodgers would have no input was crazy” ..Wrong!..Packers GM…asked Lafleur to call Rogers… AFTER…the decision had been made…Watch the Press Conference for confirmation.

  25. The notion of Rodgers having more control has developed a negative connotation because the Packers have resisted it. Maybe they should just embrace it,

    ——————————————-

    It worked wonders for McCarthy‘s career.

  26. $30M+ for a guy that looked like a shell of his former self. I really hope he was just more injured than they let on. Otherwise it won’t matter who is coaching.

  27. Rodgers, with his big contract, tanked knowing McCarthy would be the fall guy and they would bring in someone he could better control.

  28. 1st Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    2nd Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    3rd Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    4th Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    =====

    1st down passer rating – 102.1, 114 tds
    2nd down passer rating – 102.5, 125 tds
    3rd down passer rating – 106.9, 118 tds
    4th down passer rating – 81.6, 8 tds

  29. The dream came true partially because of Rodgers. Beyond from the obvious dot-connecting between the two phone calls, league insiders and observers strongly believe that LaFleur became the guy because he’s the guy Rodgers ultimately wanted. And LaFleur is the guy who will let the player in whom the Packers have invested so much money run the offense the way he wants, like Peyton Manning did, especially during his time in Denver.
    —————-
    So yeah, its GM Rodgers and coach Rodgers. That’s ok because after all, Rodgers is that team but why does Green Bay feel the need to have to continue to lie about it?

  30. Too many teams and QBs have seen their careers founder when a new head coach or O.C. comes in with his own ideas of how to run things — that do not correspond to the talent base on the field.

    The poster child for that was Mike Martz. My way or the highway is not the way to run a team.
    ======

    Martz was his own worst enemy.

    As Lombardi said regarding execution, essentially; ‘Everything looks good on the chalkboard, men make them work’

    Martz was well ahead of his time. But he was also part of an era where you could still maul QBs. He ruined a HOF career (Kurt Warner) because he was to stubborn to stop running empty sets. Warner was fortuante to survive. Thank goodness he somehow found a way to salvage his career, but even then it took nearly 5 full years..

    Martz couldn’t get out of his own way. I tend to think the same of McCarthy.

    The best thing he could do is emulate Jimmy Johnson. Let his coordinators do their thing. He clearly can’t fix a defense.. and after claiming to have rebuilt his entire offense this year, he may have to come to grips with the fact that he can’t oversee that either.

  31. Yes, it worked for Manning. Love him or hate him, his mental talent for running an offense was among the best ever (maybe not THE best, but it can be reasonably argued).

    Rodgers is more physically talented than Manning was. More mentally talented? I guess we’ll see, but I have my doubts.

  32. I hate the Pack but Rodgers should run the offense. Like the dollar figure quoted in this article. If your paying this guy 30+ mil a year then you let the guy do his thing. If it doesn’t work then dial it back. Worked out pretty good for Payton and Rodgers is a smart guy.

  33. baldbuc says:
    :..Should’ve saved the money and just made Rogers the HC. Wasn’t Pete Rose a player/manager at one time?…”

    Yeah, and you see how that turned out.

  34. Why so much hate that Rodgers had input? I would love input on who my is boss too. He’s the franchise QB and basically carried the team ever since he got the starting job. We’ve all seen how the Packers played without Rodgers. The team wasn’t competitive at all.

  35. Couple Packer fans I know wanted someone to hold Rodgers accountable, get in his face a little. Seems like they hired a ‘yes man’ for their QB. Either way, don’t get all excited if they come out flying or antsy if its a work in progress. The first year with an entire new offense and a roster that has a ton of holes should be taken as a rebuild. Its the 2021 Packers that should be ready to make a run in the playoffs.

    It all comes down to Gutey now and how they handle free agency and the draft.
    Good luck.

  36. 1st Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    2nd Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    3rd Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    4th Down- 40 yard pass attempt or throw ball away or take a sack
    =====

    1st down passer rating – 102.1, 114 tds
    2nd down passer rating – 102.5, 125 tds
    3rd down passer rating – 106.9, 118 tds
    4th down passer rating – 81.6, 8 tds

    =====

    Ok. How about over the last 2 years? The NFL is a what are you doing for me lately league. The sacks from holding on to the ball too long are catching up with him.

    I don’t think #12 walks on water. Therefore I can hold his feet to the fire. You are living in the past.

  37. Mike McCarthy was sacrificed for the sins of the personnel department. Then you leave T.J. Watt on the board and draft Biegel – then cut him the following year … when you let Jared Cook go to the Raiders and hire Martellus Bennett – who couldn’t catch a cold. When you give McCarthy 3 rookie receivers, basically one running back, nothing much in the tight end department … and allow the aging offensive line to remain intact, what do you expect?

    If you think the Rams and Chief’s coaches are cutting edge coaches – check out their rosters first. Teddie Thompson saved the Packers lots of money by hiring lots of inexpensive undrafted free agents … and when the starters got hurt – they were forced into action, with predictable results. Just remember – it’s not the X’s and the O’s … it’s the Jimmys and the Joes that make the difference.

  38. Did people seriously think a future first ballot hall of famer wasn’t going to have a say in the coach? You have to be incredibly naive or a hater to think otherwise. Hell, a friggin rookie QB had a big say in the hire in Cleveland.

  39. Wnyneal says:
    January 10, 2019 at 6:39 am
    For all you Rodgers haters who are ripping him, answer this question for me. How come Mike McCarthy hasn’t been inundated with head coaching jobs by NFL teams looking for a new head coach? The Jets turned him down by the way, and reports are surfacing it’s the job he wanted.
    Now it’s being reported that McCarthy will sit out a year then return to coaching next year. I hate to break the news to him, but he might not be wanted next year, either.
    As a Packers fan, all I can say is this does not surprise me at all

    ———-

    Wait! Most Packers fans on this site defended McCarthy over the last 4-5 years saying he was a good coach, etc etc. Now you’re going to come on here and say he wasn’t a good coach?

    Get your story straight please.

  40. It will be funny to see what happens on days when things don’t work well on the offense. Since Rodgers is now running it will he accept responsibility or put all the blame on Lafleur?

  41. Mike McCarthy was sacrificed for the sins of the personnel department.
    ======

    He’s one of the worst big game coaches in history.

    He never developed players, outside of Rodgers. Teds picks were either great right away, or they were zeros.

    He was given 7 years to field a respectable defense, and couldn’t do it.

    His offense could be called into question by the end of his run.

    He was fired with cause.

  42. nyneal says:
    January 10, 2019 at 6:39 am
    For all you Rodgers haters who are ripping him, answer this question for me. How come Mike McCarthy hasn’t been inundated with head coaching jobs by NFL teams looking for a new head coach?
    ///////////////
    Dude, 99% of us have always said Rodgers is carrying that team and they would be 4-12 without him. We just never thought they’d only be a 6 win team with him. So, I would actually say that for the first time there is real concern for the entire team, including Rodgers. Something was wrong with him. Was it the shoulder, the knee, or deteriorating skills? A record number of throwaways cannot be ignored. That is a 6 win team. That cannot be ignored either.

  43. If you think the Rams and Chief’s coaches are cutting edge coaches – check out their rosters first. Teddie Thompson saved the Packers lots of money by hiring lots of inexpensive undrafted free agents
    =====

    Ted made his living off great Drafts.

    Rodgers
    Jennings
    Collins
    Jordy
    CMIII
    Raji
    Sitton
    Lang
    Bulaga
    Cobb

    His great draft classes dried up. He couldn’t sustain his model.

    Signing a bunch of stop gap FAs wouldn’t have been a definite recipe for success. Go back and look at his abomination 2005 signings if you think that were true.

  44. Asking your franchise QB to call the chosen new coach is far different than saying they picked THE guy Rodgers wanted. Well guesses are reported as news constantly, so there ya have it. Who knows if Rodgers even had a guy. He might have had no guy. He might have had 5 or 6 guys. Nobody knows It’s all conjecture.

  45. Ok. How about over the last 2 years? The NFL is a what are you doing for me lately league. The sacks from holding on to the ball too long are catching up with him.
    =====

    Why should I make YOUR argument for you??…..

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