Those immaculate eyebrows. Universally recognized as one of the best looking head coaches in the league. Self-analytical and self-critiquing. Accountable. Constantly searching for what minute detail could have been done better. Extremely intelligent.
Matt LaFleur is a unique NFL coach.
Last week, I mentioned that it would be fascinating to find out what we would learn about the Packers’ identity against the Giants: http://www.packersforthewin.com/what-will-we-learn-about-the-packers-identity-on-sunday/. Fascinated is NOT how I currently feel… “nauseous” is a better fit. Like many people, the main sentiment I had coming out of the game was to mount Joe Barry to the guillotine. But, after listening to Matt LaFleur’s press conference yesterday (https://www.packers.com/video/head-coach-matt-lafleur-emphasizing-urgency-and-consistency-following-loss-to-gi), I realized that my anger was displaced.
Aaron Rodgers is rightly criticized for always wanting to be the smartest guy in the room. And, we saw the downfall of that approach on Sunday as he checked to passes on RPO plays on 3rd and 4th down with two yards to go. In fact, calling RPOs is indicative of what Rodgers wants- he can always outsmart the defense if given enough time. Who cares if you burn a timeout? Rodgers didn’t like the play call. What I’m realizing is that Rodgers and LaFleur are really two peas in a pod. Call the exact right play with an abundance of checks and changes and you will win. As he defended the defensive approach during the press conference, he challenged the reporters: don’t you understand that if you do A, B, or C, that leaves you vulnerable to D, E, and F?
Giant Head Coach Brian Daboll will not win the best looking head coach award. He’s enthusiastic and comfortable in his own skin. The Giants did not have the perfect game plan on Sunday. They did not have every play perfectly called. Their players are not perfect. In fact, they are much less talented than the Packers by all accounts. Yet, they played fast. They played free. And, they played with a confidence that if they just kept at it, they could win. Matt LaFleur is a very good coach, but it is time for him to take a step back and show the players that he has confidence in THEIR abilities, no matter how good or bad the play call is. And that applies to both the offense and defense.