Packers QB coach: Rodgers wants to be coached
LaFleur answered that with a story about his first interaction with Matt Ryan during his days as the Falcons quarterbacks coach. Now that LaFleur has his entire coaching staff in place, and it includes someone who knows Rodgers well, the question is this: Is Rodgers, at age 35 and about to begin his 15th NFL season, willing to be coached?
Luke Getsy, who previously spent four seasons on the Packers coaching staff (2014-17) and returned last month as quarterbacks coach after a year as Mississippi State’s offensive coordinator, believes so.
“Absolutely, I have no question about that,” Getsy said. “I think he’s as big of a competitor as I’ve ever been around. He has that desire to win more than anybody I’ve been around. I think whatever you want to call coaching, I think it’s delivering the message, being consistent and holding people accountable to that message, and he wants that as much as anybody.”
Rodgers’ decrease in production, most notably in his completion percentage — which was his second-lowest (62.3) since he became a starter, played at least a role in the Packers’ decision to fire coach Mike McCarthy with four games left in his 13th season. Also, Rodgers had criticized McCarthy’s offense after an early-season win over the Bills, exposing the tension between the two.
Getsy is the only member of a trio of coaches who will work closest with Rodgers who has any previous relationship with him. Getsy spent his first two seasons in Green Bay as a quality control offensive assistant, a job in which he worked closely with the quarterbacks, before two seasons as receivers coach.
“It didn’t have to be a guy that necessarily worked with Aaron,” LaFleur said Monday when he formally introduced his first coaching staff. “Certainly we’re going to find the best quarterback coach that’s out there. Some things that I really did like about Luke was the fact that he played quarterback in college. Certainly I reached out not only to Aaron, but a couple other guys with him being in the building before, just to find out what they thought of him as a man and as a coach and everybody gave him a thumbs up.”
Still, Getsy is expected to help ease the transition to LaFleur and new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Neither LaFleur nor Hackett had any previous relationship with Rodgers. It could help that they’re all close to Rodgers in age.
Getsy, like Rodgers, is 35, while Hackett and LaFleur are 39. In fact, youth is a common thread among LaFleur’s staff.
“I think it starts first and foremost with character and I think that’s one reason why Luke’s in that room,” said Hackett, who served as the Jaguars offensive coordinator until he was fired last November. “I think that’s one reason, I hope, why Matt brought me along. I think we all know — Luke, myself, Matt — we all know it’s about one voice. I mean, there’s so many times that if you give mixed messages to anybody on the field, it’s not just about Aaron, it’s anybody, I mean, my whole job is to make sure that everybody is speaking the same language, everybody is saying the same thing. It’s so important. You can never give mixed messages because these guys are expected to go out in front of 70,000 people and execute. They have to know exactly what we’re expecting from everybody.”
Rodgers has been in the same offense, led by McCarthy, for his entire career as an NFL starter — up until McCarthy was fired.
Like McCarthy, LaFleur plans to be a playcalling head coach, which means his relationship with Rodgers is critical.
“We’ve got three quarterback guys that are going to be hitting him from all angles,” LaFleur said. “No, I’m going to do part. I know that I need to be in that room, especially as much as I possibly can because I am going to be the playcaller. I think that relationship between the playcaller and the quarterback is absolutely critical. So I will be in there as much as I can. I don’t foresee ever missing a quarterback meeting.”