3 strengths and 2 weaknesses of Matt LaFleur heading into 2023

  • Starting from scratch at QB
  • NFC North is wide open
  • Plenty of time to get Packers back on track
Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur
Green Bay Packers, Matt LaFleur / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
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Matt LaFleur weakness: No more Aaron Rodgers

The double-edged sword. You might think it's hypocritical to say in the same breath that the absence of Aaron Rodgers is a strength for LaFleur as well as a weakness, but there's no doubt that for the majority of his time as head coach of the team, Aaron Rodgers has been the tide raising all other boats in the harbor.

Not that LaFleur is incompetent and Rodgers has carried him -- LaFleur has obviously done a brilliant job of managing and leading the entire team given the fact that we've seen some epic failures in recent years when certain coaches and quarterbacks are brought together around the NFL. But on the field, Rodgers certainly makes everyone better and a player like that undoubtedly makes a coach's job easier.

No more Aaron Rodgers could mean a lot more aggressive looks from defenses that LaFleur is going to have to deal with when he's scheming ways to make life easier for Jordan Love. It could very well mean more loaded boxes for Aaron Jones.

And that, in particular, is something to park on for a little bit.

Last year, Aaron Jones faced a "loaded box" (8+ players in the box) just 10.8 percent of the time. Given the number of carries he had last year, that could effectively be called the lowest percentage among running backs in the entire NFL. He was near the bottom of the league in 2021 as well.

But in 2023, teams are going to force Jordan Love to be the one to beat them. They're going to load up the box and play much more aggressively against the run on early downs, which changes the game completely for Matt LaFleur. He's been able to rely on teams not loading the box with Rodgers under center but those days are in the past.