Inside the Huddle: Trouble brewing in Green Bay between Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur?
By James Simpson
Last Updated: 25/06/19 6:22pm
In the latest edition of Inside the Huddle, Neil Reynolds and Jeff Reinebold discussed Green Bay's offensive cohesion with a new head coach-quarterback pairing.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers - a seven-time Pro Bowler, two-time MVP, and one of the game's all-time greats - was handed his first start by previous head coach Mike McCarthy, whose 13-year stint as head coach ended in December last year.
Despite early success for Rodgers and McCarthy - a Super Bowl XLV win in 2011 during Rodgers' third season as a starter - their relationship soured as McCarthy stuck to his rigid, predictable offensive scheme while Rodgers ignored his coach's play calls.
Enter new head coach Matt LaFleur, a Sean McVay disciple poached from the Tennessee Titans in January.
LaFleur is young and innovative but brings an attack that has "never really had a quarterback who's had complete freedom to change plays at the line, because that's not really the way the offense is set up," according to NFL.com's Mike Silver.
Rodgers, also talking to Silver, said of the relationship: "It's a conversation in progress. I don't think you want to ask me to turn off 11 years (of recognizing defenses).
"We have a number of 'check with me' and line-of-scrimmage stuff. It's just the other stuff that really not many people in this league can do.
"That's not like a humblebrag or anything; that's just a fact. There aren't many people that can do at the line of scrimmage what I've done over the years."
So, what's going to give? The Inside the Huddle hosts debated the situation...
Reinebold: Rodgers has grounds for what he says
"This is a learning curve that LaFleur is going to go through. You have got to be able to manage the personality of your quarterback, especially when you have a guy as talented as Aaron Rodgers. You are talking about one of the two or three best in the league.
"I think Rodgers has some grounds for what he says here. You've been the guy for 11 years, you've seen everything you can see in the league. 11 years ago, I don't even know where LaFleur was [he was serving his first ever NFL job - offensive quality control in Houston].
"It's not the same situation Sean McVay went into with the Rams with a young guy [Jared Goff] that had struggled mightily and was a young kid. You can take a hands-on approach with that kind of quarterback, but when you've got an 11-year veteran - 11 great years, Hall of Fame calibre play - I think it's unwise for the head coach not to take advantage of that."
"You are not going to win by getting in a power struggle with him."
Reynolds: LaFleur might need to relax his rules
"This has been Rodgers' team for the last decade or more, and historically, he is the highest rated quarterback in NFL history and one of the best quarterbacks to ever play this game.
"If he changes a play at the line of scrimmage in Week One and it goes against what LaFleur wanted, I'm not saying there should be open mutiny but the head coach is going to be a little toothless in terms of what he can do there because he's not about to pull Aaron Rodgers out of the lineup.
"I think this is going to be more of a case of LaFleur relaxing some of his offensive rules and giving Rodgers that freedom."
Click here to listen to the full conversation and much more as Neil and Jeff discuss Oakland featuring on Hard Knocks, Neil's Training Camp trip, and the Seahawks and Ravens in the 'State of the Franchise' series.