GREEN BAY, Wis. – On Jan. 8, 2019, Matt LaFleur was named the 15th coach in the history of the Green Bay Packers.
On Jan. 8, 2020, he was getting the Packers ready in their quest for a 14th NFL championship.
“That was already a year ago?” LaFleur said on Wednesday. “Man, it’s been a fast year, there’s no doubt about it.”
What’s been especially fast is Green Bay’s race up the NFL standings. After winning a combined 13 games the previous two seasons, LaFleur’s Packers posted a 13-3 mark this season. That was good enough for a first-round bye and a divisional-round home game against Seattle on Sunday night.
After the firing of Mike McCarthy, much of the coaching search centered on finding the right fit with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers learned of LaFleur’s candidacy while golfing.
“I kind of shanked one up (No.) 6 after the conversation I had with him,” Rodgers recalled. “I enjoyed our conversation. I wasn’t sure how far along the process was, but I was kind of told right after when I was talking with Brian (Gutekunst) that’s who they wanted to go with. It was exciting. Obviously, change is always difficult. I think you have to embrace it and focus on the positives, and there were a lot of positives with Matt right away. It’s been an exciting year. It’s funny, I think, in life in general how much can change in a year. You think about the feeling of the organization and disappointment and everybody really being gone. Now we’re here, there’s eight teams left in the playoffs. I think there’s a different sentiment about the squad and which way our arrow is pointing and the excitement that playoffs bring to the organization and the area and the region.”
There’s more to Green Bay’s rise this season than LaFleur and his mesh with the quarterback, as Rodgers discussed extensively in the video associated with this story.
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