Mina Kimes says what nobody else will admit about Packers coach Matt LaFleur

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

All Matt LaFleur has done since arriving in Green Bay is win games. The Packers are 56-27 in five seasons and have made the playoffs four times under LaFleur's leadership.

Yet he still doesn't get enough respect. Things are beginning to change gradually after LaFleur led the league's youngest roster with a first-year starting quarterback into the postseason, but he is still overlooked.

Rankings last summer had LaFleur in the bottom half of the 32 NFL coaches. While the Packers' success in 2023 has helped change that perception somewhat, he is still underappreciated. That includes a survey by the NFL Players Association that had LaFleur all the way down at 21st in the league.

LaFleur gets knocked for previously "having Aaron Rodgers," ignoring the fact that he helped Rodgers win back-to-back MVPs. Under LaFleur, the Packers became the first team in NFL history to win 13 games three years in a row.

Fortunately, ESPN's Mina Kimes is here to set the record straight.

Mina Kimes explains why Packers' Matt LaFleur could be a top-five coach

In a recent episode of The Mina Kimes Show, Kimes ranked the top 10 coaches in the NFL. She has LaFleur at No. 7 but explained why he could belong even higher on the list.

"I feel like Matt LaFleur has a case to be a top-five head coach in the NFL right now," said Kimes. "Last year, Green Bay was the fourth-youngest playoff team—not that year but ever in the modern NFL. Six of their 11 starters on offense were either rookies or guys in their second year."

"Everybody said: Show us you can do it without Aaron Rodgers. Well, he showed you that he could do it without Aaron Rodgers," said Kimes.

That's absolutely right. LaFleur wasn't given enough credit because Rodgers was his quarterback, ignoring that he helped unlock some of the best years of Rodgers' career. Then, in year one as the starter, Jordan Love reached an MVP level with 18 touchdowns to one interception in the final eight games of the regular season. Green Bay reached the NFC Divisional Round and came close to eliminating the San Francisco 49ers.

Kimes added that the biggest criticism of LaFleur was his loyalty to defensive coordinator Joe Barry, something he finally changed this offseason. It's a fair point. While many believe LaFleur should've replaced Barry sooner, he did make a drastic change by bringing in Jeff Hafley and a completely different defensive scheme for 2024.

LaFleur is one of the best coaches in the NFL, and he continues to prove it. Winning a Super Bowl would cement his legacy, but entering year six in Green Bay, LaFleur deserves more respect—Kimes was 100 percent right.

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