Packers hire offensive whiz Matt LaFleur as new head coach: report
Was previously offensive coordinator for Tennessee Titans
The Green Bay Packers are turning to fast-rising offensive whiz Matt LaFleur to aid Aaron Rodgers and end a two-year absence from the post-season.
LaFleur accepted Green Bay's offer Monday to become the next head coach of the Packers, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the Packers nor the Titans had announced the decision.
LaFleur takes over after Mike McCarthy was fired during the season following a stunning home loss to Arizona. Offensive co-ordinator Joe Philbin went 2-2 to close out the season as the Packers failed to reach the playoffs for the second straight year. The 6-9-1 record was the second straight under .500 for the storied franchise.
The 39-year-old LaFleur spent this past regular season as offensive co-ordinator for the Titans, his first season calling plays in the NFL. He was offensive co-ordinator with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, leading a group that paced the NFL in scoring and was 10th in total offence. Rams coach Sean McVay called the plays on offence.
LaFleur was the quarterbacks coach in Atlanta for two seasons, including when Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was the NFL MVP in 2016. LaFleur also has coached with Washington and Houston, and was the quarterbacks coach for Notre Dame in 2014.
He will be charged with returning the Packers to the playoffs on a regular basis. McCarthy's tenure of 12-plus seasons was by and large successful, highlighted by the 2010 Super Bowl season and nine playoff appearances.
A once potent offence that could make up for other deficiencies slowed in 2018, a tumultuous year that began with Rodgers leading a stirring comeback victory in the opener over the Bears.
The two-time NFL MVP returned after halftime from a left knee injury that nagged him the rest of the season. Rodgers' 62.3 per cent completion rate was his lowest since 2015 (60.7) and his 25 touchdown passes were a low for a season in which he played at least 15 games, though so were his two interceptions.