Yeah right. I’d be lying to you if I told you that I could even attempt that. Countless others will do it, and I’m hopeful Bruce has one cooking right now, but I won’t even try it (because if I could really do that you can bet I’d be working in the NFL).
I as usual prefer to look at the human nature implications of the decision.
I have no clue whether or not to get truly excited about this guy. What I like about him is, he’s running a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT style of offense, and not for the reasons that you think. No, that’s not meant as a knock on McCarthy’s offense, and definitely not an endorsement of selecting a coach just because he runs the offense that is currently the flavor of the month.
No, this is about relationships. And, no matter who you blame, there was an extremely dysfunctional relationship between qb and coach. And when the on field leader disrespects the coach, the rest of the team will follow. I won’t get into the details, but you can get them absolutely everywhere if you haven’t heard yet.
This is a SERIOUS problem, no matter who is at fault. If we have any hope of regaining an appropriate winning chemistry in the locker room, we need a coach that will not just have the title of coach, but who is actually running the team with the genuine support of his players. A locker room that loses this mentality is not easy to reel back in, and simply hiring a new coach doesn’t undo the damage done to a team that has broken the glass and essentially committed a mutiny. The key of course to rehabbing this locker room is to get the qb on board moving forward.
I was worried that the new coach would have to enter a scenario he could not control, like Ray Rhodes or Mike Sherman following Mike Holmgren. You walk in the door, the qb is larger than life, and your name might be on the door, but your stubborn and legendary quarterback that you cannot possibly control is running your team (or just ignoring you…either way you’re screwed). My one request of Mark Murphy would be, please pick someone that that can walk in the door from day 1 and be in charge of Rodgers, and not the other way around.
The coach needs to be in charge, and he needs to command the respect of all players, if he plans to lead. Unless Rodgers is truly his subordinate, takes his orders, and collaborates with the new coach, I guarantee we’re not going to win another Super Bowl until Rodgers is gone. We can’t have Rodgers rolling his eyes in the huddle, and certainly can’t have him changing the plays and gameplan unilaterally on a whim with no accountability to his coach and the gameplan that the coach spent countless hours analyzing and preparing. He needs to do what his coach tells him to do, and make appropriate changes only within the framework discussed with the coach, and has to demonstrate an appropriate amount of respect for the coach in order for the rest of the players to follow his lead. I don’t care if Aaron Rodgers is your qb, you cannot win a super bowl with that sort of nonsense going on.
We need a coach that can walk in the door and be respected by Rodgers from day 1.
Enter Matt LeFleur. Look, I don’t know if he has the stones to walk in and just take charge with an iron fist (which is likely a poor approach), but I do know that because he is running a wholly different offense, Rodgers will have to at least temporarily become his student in order to run it. New schemes and strategies require study and collaboration. He has to accept the role of a student again, and his coach will again be his teacher. Therefore, in order for Rodgers to function, he has to go back to being the coach’s subordinate, even if only for a little while. During this window (which might be short given Rodgers’ intelligence) LeFleur will have the opportunity to gain the respect of Rodgers. It’s unfortunate that this is necessary, but unfortunately this is a crucial hurdle that is 100% necessary with this particular coaching change, given the current state of dysfunction in our locker room.
Because his scheme is so very different than anything Rodgers has ever run, LeFleur is guaranteed a window where Rodgers is his subordinate. IF he uses that time wisely and gains the respect of Rodgers, hopefully Rodgers will emerge from the initial learning phase willing to partially collaborate and partially be a subordinate to his coach. IF that happens, we can win, because where Rodgers goes, the rest of the team follows. We need Rodgers to be going in the same direction of his coach, or we really have no hope. But if LeFleur can get Rodgers on board, we can get back to a locker room that can win big.
Because of the learning curve that’s coming, there is a small window where LeFleur can be fully in charge, and can hopefully earn Rodgers’ support and respect.
If LeFleur can’t capture Rodgers respect in that window, well, Mike Sherman did win a few games while working for Brett Favre. So at least there’s that.