All the priority about how properly Inexperienced Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur would work with veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers have disappeared close to the tip of their second season collectively.
“We’ve had a good time collectively,” Rodgers mentioned. “We’ve been laughing all the best way to the NFC championship (recreation) final 12 months and again within the playoffs this 12 months about any query about our working relationship. It’s been a number of enjoyable working collectively.”
The 41-year-old LaFleur has emerged as one of many league’s vivid younger coaches as he prepares to face his former boss Sunday evening when the NFC North champion Packers (11-3) host the Titans in a matchup between two of the NFL’s highest-scoring groups. Mike Vrabel has the Titans (10-4) on the verge of a second straight playoff berth.
LaFleur owns a 24-6 report at Inexperienced Bay and is considered one of solely six coaches in NFL historical past to win not less than 24 of their first 30 video games. He’s come a good distance since that 2018 season at Tennessee, when the Titans ranked twenty fifth in yards per recreation and twenty seventh in factors per recreation whereas going 9-7 and failing to succeed in the playoffs.
But LaFleur says he realized lots from that 12 months working with Vrabel, who held everybody accountable, from his coaches to each participant on the roster.
“He was actually direct in his communication, laid out the expectations,” LaFleur mentioned. “(They) have been crystal clear for everyone. You knew the place you stood and what your obligations have been and what the expectations have been. I believed he did an excellent job with that. It’s one thing I’ve tried to hold over, as properly.”
Final season, Inexperienced Bay went 13-3 and received loads of shut video games by leaning closely on its protection.
When the Packers struggled to attain final season, it led to questions on how lengthy it’d take for Rodgers to get comfy with LaFleur’s offense. The transfer
When the Packers traded up 4 spots to
Rodgers and LaFleur have responded by serving to the Packers (11-3) boast one of many NFL’s most high-powered offenses. They bounce on groups early by scoring 31 factors per recreation, up from 23.5 final season.
And Rodgers has produced one of many best seasons of his Corridor of Fame-caliber profession by throwing 40 landing passes and solely 4 interceptions.
LaFleur has praised Rodgers all through the season and referred to as him the MVP front-runner final week.
“He’s obtained a fantastic group of academics, and I benefit from the working relationship, benefit from the friendship, benefit from the communication,” Rodgers mentioned. “We’ve had run thus far.”
Inexperienced Bay’s offense had considered one of its few hiccups final week, because the Packers scored touchdowns on their first three drives however gained solely 49 yards after halftime in a
That offers the Packers loads of incentive as LaFleur will get able to match up with Vrabel, who has seen how properly his former offensive coordinator has fared in Inexperienced Bay. Sunday’s recreation will mark the primary time the third-year Titans coach has matched wits with a head coach who as soon as labored on his workers.
“I feel Matt’s obtained a confidence to him about what he believes in,” Vrabel mentioned. “I feel he’s a tough employee. I feel he’s obtained a toughness to him, having been in a number of totally different locations, labored his manner up. Not afraid to maneuver his household for an additional alternative after which flip that chance into one thing else. These are all actually robust qualities. I do suppose he has realized from the people who he’s been round, and he’s been round a number of nice coaches.”
LaFleur seems ahead to displaying Vrabel how a lot he’s grown over the past couple seasons.
“I actually loved my time in Tennessee, like I mentioned, realized loads,” LaFleur mentioned. “Now I hope we provide you with recreation plan, play our greatest soccer and go beat their butt.”
AP Professional Soccer Author Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report.
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