Matt LaFleur had his first real practice on Tuesday during the Packers 3 day bonus mini-camp, and as a first year head coach in the NFL, he understands how valuable this week will be.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity for us to really set the standards that we have and the expectations for our players. As well as it also gives us as coaches, our first time on the grass with these guys. So it gives us a first-hand look at evaluating the players we have on this roster.
From changing the lighting in the tunnel and adding new displays of players at Lambeau Field, LaFleur is putting his own spin and stamp on several aspects of the franchise’s history.
“I wanted to make it about these guys. When you come to the Green Bay Packers, obviously, you respect the tradition, the history, but, for us and this football team, it’s about making history. We’ll always pay credit and respect to what’s been done here in the past, but it’s moving forward. And the expectation level is always going to be great in this organization, as it should be, and that’s really the vibe and what I want our guys to focus on. Whether you are coaching in this league or playing in this league, you’ve got to feel pretty fortunate that you’re in the position that you’re in. So why not go to work every day and have fun with it. It does not need to be an uptight environment. We can certainly come in and get our work done and have a ball doing it, because at the end of the day it’s about guys playing football.”
When it comes to connections, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams certainly had it last year with almost 1400 yards and 13 touchdowns. And even though the offense will change a bit under LaFleur, the two leaders on that side of the ball like what they see so far, even if it means more time in the playbook and the film room.
“I think the energy level was good and the vibe was good. Yeah everything is new for the offensive players, so we’re working through the playbook.” Rodgers said after practice. “It’s just a fraction of it right now, which is actually nice for a lot of us who have been in this system for a while, myself especially. It was a good day for us, got some moving pieces, but not everybody is out there, but it was a good practice.
The Packers had back to back losing seasons for the first time since 1991 and the goal of getting back to the playoffs begins at this time of the offseason.
“Obviously these past two seasons we didn’t really get it done the way we wanted to, so having a new staff come in has been a lot of fun learning a new offense.” Adams added. “It’s been pretty challenging as well. It’s a level playing field now.”