Will The Packers Fire Matt LaFleur Over His Fight With Aaron Rodgers?
Will the Green Bay Packers fire Matt LaFleur over his fight with Aaron Rodgers?
It may seem like a silly question, but given Rodgers’ history of getting competent coaches axed over disagreements, it’s still a fair one.
During Sunday’s game between Green Bay and the Minnesota Vikings, Rodgers failed to convert on a 3rd-and-16 with less than a minute remaining in the half.
Clearly pissed, Rodgers went to the sidelines and soon started yelling at his rookie head coach about it.
“It was about the look on defense,” Rodgers said afterwards.
“I was actually kind of surprised that he was coming over to talk about that, but we got it all sorted out over there on the sideline. It actually wasn’t a big deal. …
“We’re a little animated at times. I can’t say we were yelling how much we love each other, but we definitely weren’t MF-ing each other or anything.
“It was talking about the look there and getting on the same page.”
Later on in the game, LaFleur came over to sit next to Rodgers – a gesture the Packers quarterback appreciated.
“It’s different,” he said.
“It’s definitely helpful, when he’s bouncing stuff off — ‘Do you like this? Do you like that? Do you want to start with this? You want to get to this?'” he noted.
“Obviously I did that with Mike a bunch, I’d kind of go to over where he was at, but Matt likes to get cozy on the bench.”
LaFleur, for his part, also attempted to diffuse the situation after the game.
“That’s just two competitive guys, and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last one we have,” LaFleur said.
“But you know, just competitors, heat of the moment and it is what it is.
“I would much rather have that than anything else because you want guys that are extreme competitors, and that’s what he is.”
While both men said all the right things after the fact, their little blowout does speak to a larger issue – lingering disagreements about the new offense stemming from the preseason.
In Rodgers’ mind, this is the most complex offense he has ever played in.
“I can’t say we were yelling how much we love each other, but we definitely weren’t MF’ing each other or anything.”
—Aaron Rodgers on his animated talk with coach Matt LaFleur 😅 pic.twitter.com/BRa2cM2sHe
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 15, 2019
“This is probably the wordiest offense I’ve been in since Cal,” Rodgers said.
“At Cal, we would signal from the sideline and if there was ever a play that needed more than seven signals, we’d wristband that one.
“I think it just helps with the communication, so he doesn’t have to say 12 syllables to me and then I say 12 syllables in the huddle.
“It helped speed things up a little bit. But we didn’t use it a whole lot. We only used it probably five or six times.”
Despite the fact that Green Bay won on Sunday, there were some notable issues with the offense as the game went on.
In their last 11 possessions of the game, the Packers recorded just 164 net yards.
“I think they made some adjustments and we did as well,” he said.
“We just didn’t execute. We had some chances at some stuff. I think they just tightened up. They made some good plays on contested balls.
“We had three or four opportunities for a contested catch and they made plays on the ball, which would have been big plays.
“Marquez [Valdes-Scantling] had one where he kind of got carried out of bounds. Davante [Adams] had one on their sideline. [Aaron Jones], I underthrew that one.
“But those plays, not converting them hurt. And then obviously we were driving there and then G-Mo trying to get some extra yards kind of took away some points there.
“And then my bonehead play took away some points as well.”
Will the Packers really fire their new head coach over one little disagreement?
But given Rodgers’ track record, it is worth remembering that all his little tiffs start with something small and then grew into something much larger.