Packers coach Matt LaFleur coined the phrase, and now he’s getting sick of it.
Opening up to Mike Silver of NFL Media in June regarding the tension between the rigid playcalling structure of the new Packers’ offense and the desire of quarterback Aaron Rodgers to have greater freedom at the line of scrimmage, LaFleur dubbed the sticking point between quarterback and coach the “audible thing.” And now that LaFleur, as expected, has yielded to Rodgers, LaFleur apparently has reached the limits of his patience regarding the topic.
“You guys will just not stop with this audible thing,” LaFleur told reporters on Tuesday, via Matt Schneidman of TheAthletic.com. “It’s unbelievable. What do you want me to say? . . . It’s comical to me.”
It’s equal parts comedy and tragedy, given the way it’s been handled. If LaFleur and Rodgers had simply kept quiet about it, no one would know that there even was an “audible thing.” Only after they decided to disclose the dispute to the public did it become an actual or perceived (actual) power play between 15th-year quarterback and first-year coach — an actual or perceived (actual) power play that the 15th-year quarterback, given his stature and salary, was always destined to win.
So it’s now Rodgers 1, LaFleur 0. And it’s important for the franchise to keep further disagreements between franchise quarterback and neophyte coach under wraps. Of course, given Rodgers’ propensity for passive aggression, future issues likely won’t stay under wraps unless he gets his way.
The next battleground, as Peter King pointed out during Tuesday’s PFT Live, could come in the form of the pace of the offense. LaFleur wants to move quickly; Rodgers may want to go more deliberately. Especially since he now has license to survey the defense and, if he so chooses, change the play.
Thus, the “audible thing” is over. Now it’s time to wait for the “tempo thing” to possible become a thing.