Packers: Matt LaFleur should have multiple Coach of the Year Awards
Through his first 40 career games as an NFL head coach, Matt LaFleur went 33-7 with the Green Bay Packers. That is the best start for any coach in NFL history.
His regular-season winning percentage is the best of all time for any coach (min. 25 games). Currently sitting at a career record of 41-13, LaFleur is off to a better start in his career than the likes of Bill Belichick, Bill Walsh, Don Shula and even somebody Packers fans know all about, Vince Lombardi.
After back-to-back-to-back 13-win seasons and multiple NFC Championship Game appearances, the Michigan native has the Packers in prime position to stay atop the NFC for years to come.
Having players like Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, David Bakhtiari, Aaron Jones, the Smiths, De’Vondre Campbell, and Jaire Alexander definitely helps. But let’s not forget that the Packers went 23-24-1 in the final three seasons of the Mike McCarthy era with the majority of those players on the roster.
LaFleur deserves credit for bringing in a new offensive scheme that focuses on the running game first. LaFleur has helped develop Aaron Jones into a Pro Bowl RB while turning third-year A.J. Dillion into a boulder at the RB position.
The offense also schemes to get their WRs wide open. Aaron Rodgers can already throw the ball through a key hole. Imagine him throwing to a wide open WR or TE. The Packers were ranked No. 1 in scoring in 2020. Also, Aaron Rodgers has won the MVP twice in LaFleur’s three years in charge in Green Bay. That’s not a coincidence.
LaFleur has also helped turned the defense around despite being an offensive coach. What was once a bottom-third of the league unit is now a top-10 unit with a Pro Bowler or All-Pro at every level. Players like Kenny Clark, Za’Darius Smith, Adrian Amos, De’Vondre Campbell, Darnell Savage, and Jaire Alexander have all become top level players in LaFleur’s short time at Lombardi Ave. That’s not a coincidence either.
The only problem under LaFleur has been the special teams, but that should not be a problem in the future. LaFleur made a quick move last month by hiring Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia.
Bisaccia has nearly 40 years of coaching experience and has had plenty of impressive stints as a special teams coach in the NFL. He has coached in Dallas, Tampa, and San Diego. He has consistently been able to produce a top-10 ST unit everywhere he has been. LaFleur addressed the most important team need right away.
Whenever there has been a problem, LaFleur has continued to propel his team over it. Whether it has been poor kickoff coverage, bad run defense, injuries, or an inconsistent position group, LaFleur has improved his team tremendously.
This past season was a great example of that. After losing key players like All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari, Pro Bowl G Elgton Jenkins, Pro Bowl CB Jaire Alexander, and Pro Bowl edge rusher Za’Darius Smith for an extended period of time, LaFleur still led this team to 13 wins. Incredible.
To have three straight 13-win seasons and not win an NFL Coach of the Year Award is ridiculous. Key players are important, but a great coach brings in the right attitude and system to inspire those players. That’s what Matt Lafleur has done. That’s what he will continue to do for a long, long time in Green Bay, Wisconsin.