Packers' Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur Discuss QB-HC Relationship with Peter King

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2019

FILE - In this June 12, 2019, file photo, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, walks past head coach Matt LaFleur during an NFL football practice in Green Bay, Wisc. LeFleur is recovering from a torn Achilles. LaFleur opens his first training camp as Packers head coach with his biggest issue being the nagging Achilles injury. LaFleur said Wednesday, July 24, 2019, that he hopes to be out of his walking boot in the next couple weeks as he continues to recover from a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in May. As for his on-field concerns and relationship with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Lafleur says he enjoys the challenge of coaching Rodgers and called the two-time NFL MVP one of the most competitive players he’s ever been around. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File)
Mike Roemer/Associated Press

Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur and quarterback Aaron Rodgers opened up on their working relationship, with the former consistently referring to it as a "partnership."

LaFleur said the following when asked what it was like to be Rodgers' boss, per Peter King of NBC Sports:

"I don't, to be honest with you, really look at it like that. From a play-caller's mentality, I've always viewed that relationship as more of a partnership, because he plays the toughest position in all of sports, and you want to always be sure he's comfortable with all that's going on. I know if he's confident with what's going on, the 10 guys in the huddle are going to be comfortable with what's going on."

Rodgers added: "I tell him all the time, 'You're the boss.' He usually retorts with the same, 'No, it's a partnership.'"

The Packers hired LaFleur this offseason to replace Mike McCarthy, who was fired after nearly 13 seasons in Green Bay. McCarthy is the only coach Rodgers has worked with as a starter. (Mike Sherman was the Packers' coach when Rodgers was drafted in 2005 but was fired a year later.)

LaFleur, 39, has only two seasons of NFL coordinator experience, with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and the Tennessee Titans last season. He is looking to install a more uptempo offense than what Rodgers ran under McCarthy, and the quarterback admitted there has been an adjustment period:

"A lot of it is different. The NFL is a copycat league, and there's a lot of similar concepts. But it's definitely different than the last 11 years and we've been doing. It's fun. It's stuff you've seen the Rams do and Atlanta do and San Fran. We all watch football. We're all fans. We watch and think, 'That play's pretty cool.'

"Now you're sitting in an install meeting, and you're like, 'Hey, that was that play from this game. That's the one from the L.A.-Minnesota game that we saw.' Definitely a lot more studying. I don't know this like the back of my hand like I did the last offense yet, but I'm getting there."

Tyler Dunne of B/R previously highlighted the contentious relationship Rodgers had with McCarthy, which lasted essentially their entire partnership. Rodgers is described in the piece as a player who commands respect and accountability, and he felt McCarthy lacked those on his level. He often changed play calls and overruled McCarthy on schematic decisions, leading to a schism that at times divided people in the locker room.

LaFleur previously revealed giving Rodgers audible autonomy is an adjustment for him and that the two have to find a middle ground. King highlighted a story of Rodgers switching up a run play by using old signals because LaFleur had not yet installed his audible package.

"If you can find a way to communicate it without getting a delay of game, you just do it," Rodgers said. "Nothing too complicated. That's football."

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