It appears that the Packers first head coaching search since 2006 is already over.
According to ESPN.com, the Packers have decided to hire Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur to replace Mike McCarthy, who was fired in December after a stunning Week 13 loss to the Cardinals that dropped Green Bay to 4-7-1.
After McCarthy was fired, the team gave the interim coaching job to Joe Philbin. Although Philbin interviewed for the main job and seemed to have the support of Aaron Rodgers, the team decided to go with LaFleur.
On one hand, the move makes plenty of sense, and that's because the Packers have a long history of hiring young, bright-minded offensive coordinators.
Man do the Packers have a type:— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 7, 2019
Matt LaFleur - 39 years old - Titans OC (1 year)
Mike McCarthy - 43 years old - 49ers OC (1 year)
Mike Sherman - 46 years old - Seahawks OC (1 year)
Mike Holmgren - 44 years old - 49ers OC (3 years)
(Yes I'm ignoring Ray Rhodes. Do not @ me.)
When McCarthy was hired in January 2006, he had just finished his first year as the offensive coordinator in San Francisco. With most teams now hoping to land the next Sean McVay, the Packers probably feel they're getting something similar to that, and that's mainly because LaFleur actually worked with McVay for a total of four seasons.
In 2017, LaFleur served as the offensive coordinator under McVay in Los Angeles in a season where the Rams finished the year ranked as the NFL's 10th best offense. LaFleur also spent three seasons on the same coaching staff with McVay in Washington (2011-13) with LaFleur serving as quarterbacks coach and McVay serving as tight ends coach. As a matter of fact, McVay and LaFleur are so close that McVay might have actually helped LaFleur land the Packers job.
Been told that #Rams coach Sean McVay and soon-to-be #Packers coach Matt LaFleur are close friends and it's likely McVay lobbied for him. Murphy was clearly looking for a guy with an offensive mind. Allows him to keep DC Mike Pettine and the entire staff .— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) January 7, 2019
LaFleur has also worked extensively with Kyle Shanahan for two seasons in Atlanta with LaFleur serving as the quarterbacks coach for the Falcons while Shanahan served as the offensive coordinator. LaFleur's stint in Atlanta included the 2016 season when Matt Ryan won the MVP and led the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
Over the past three years LaFleur has worked with Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff and Matt Ryan, which is probably something the Packers liked, since the new coach will need to have a good relationship with Rodgers. LaFleur has also worked with Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III.
Although LaFleur could certainly end up being a good hire for the Packers, there are also plenty of question marks that come with this move. For one, LaFleur is coming off a disappointing season in Tennessee. In 2018, the Titans ranked 29th in passing and 25th overall in total offense. LaFleur is also only 39 years old, which could make things interesting with Rodgers. Although Rodgers could thrive in LaFleur's offense, what happens if he doesn't?
If the Packers struggle on offense next season, it could make for another awkward year in Green Bay, which is basically what happened during McCarthy's final months. According to Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis, Rodgers would change McCarthy's .
Of course, the Packers probably wouldn't have made this hire if Rodgers wasn't on board with it.
Before hiring LaFleur, Packers president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst interviewed nearly a dozen candidates over the past five weeks. The Packers interviewed multiple people over the weekend including Josh McDaniels and Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores, along with Saints assistant head coach Dan Campbell, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
According to NFL.com, the Packers also strongly considered hiring Monken before making the decision to go with LaFleur. Former Dolphins coach Adam Gase was also interviewed for the job. Besides that group, the Packers also talked to two former Colts coaches in Jim Caldwell and Chuck Pagano.