January 10, 2019 / 12:40 AM / 9 months ago

LaFleur eager to work with Packers, Rodgers

Matt LaFleur announced his goal of “bringing a Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay” during his introductory news conference as the Packers’ head coach on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Dec 30, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Blaine Gabbert (7) talks with Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator became emotional as he thanked his family for their support. He sat between team CEO Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst.

“I want to develop a championship culture that’s filled with high character people that are dedicated to becoming the best versions of themselves,” LaFleur said in comments published by NFL.com. “My philosophy is to lead, teach and inspire, not only our football team but everyone in this building.”

In Green Bay, LaFleur inherits a team that went 6-9-1 this season and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. The team dismissed longtime head coach Mike McCarthy with four games remaining and replaced him with interim coach Joe Philbin.

The Packers interviewed 10 candidates for the opening, Murphy said. LaFleur was the final interview and stood out as “the most prepared candidate,” Murphy said, because of his knowledge of the roster and coaching staff.

“He was just very genuine and natural,” Murphy said. “It felt more like a conversation rather than an interview.”

That type of back-and-forth communication might be necessary between LaFleur and star quarterback Aaron Rodgers in order for the Packers to reverse their downturn. Rodgers, 35, is coming off another stellar season in which he passed for 4,442 yards, 25 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

“I cannot wait to get to work with him,” LaFleur said. “I think he’s equally as excited. There’s a lot of work to be done in front of us. Just looking forward to that opportunity.

“I think there’s an incredible amount of talent here. Obviously when you have a quarterback of the caliber of Aaron Rodgers, we’re going to have high expectations.”

—Field Level Media

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