After the Green Bay Packers hired Matt LaFleur to be his new coach in January, quarterback Aaron Rodgers had the opportunity to speak with Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan about the new Packers coach. that he was once Ryan's position coach in Atlanta.
The two talked several times about LaFleur and what Rodgers could expect, including a longer conversation at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February.
It's early in the process, but Ryan's exploration report on LaFleur is proving to be accurate in Rodgers' mind.
"Everything he said is basically right about what Matt is," Rodgers said during the media's availability last week. "He's an energetic guy, he's really smart, he's a good communicator, he's creative."
Rodgers and LaFleur are beginning the process of building an "badociation," a word that both have used several times this offseason. It really started last week when Rodgers and his teammates returned to Green Bay for the start of the offseason training program last week.
Rodgers said he can feel the excitement in the air at Lambeau Field. LaFleur has made subtle changes to the facilities, including changing the allocation of seats in team meetings, and with the change comes a new beginning, both for the Rodgers, who worked in a tumultuous end to their relationship with former coach Mike McCarthy, as for the Packers, a team that has missed the playoffs in consecutive years after going to the postseason eight consecutive years between 2009-16.
"It's been a good start to the change," Rodgers said.
Rodgers is a Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice, but an injection of energy and creativity could be exactly the ingredients he needs to start preparing MVP-type numbers with LaFleur, which comes from the same tree of coaches as Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay.
Rodgers mentioned how exciting it was to see offenses like the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs last season. LaFleur was the offensive coordinator in Tennessee in 2018, but he worked along McVay for several years and was the offensive coordinator in Los Angeles in 2017.
Rodgers talked about the "tempo", the "condensed formations" and "many of the things that look alike", all of which are considered fundamental principles of the LaFleur offensive in Green Bay.
The Packers hope that LaFleur can be the catalyst for a sustained race of late dominance in the career of Rodgers, who threw only 25 touchdown pbades and recorded the second lowest completion percentage of his initial career in 2018.
"It's been a great conversation (with Matt)," Rodgers said. "He's been at the front of the room, accommodating himself to be the guy, it's fun to watch him and support him." I just listened to his mind when we talked about the expectations of the quarterback room and the initial offensive facilities, been very fun. "
It is certainly possible that the mental challenge of learning a new system combined with the daily challenges of LaFleur, the offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and the quarterback coach Luke Getsy and the advantages presented with a modern and creative scheme is exactly what is needed to start by maximizing the most talented quarterback in the game once again.
"It's exciting right now because it's different," Rodgers said. "I was in the same system for 14 years and I knew it inside and out, and now I have a new challenge. Learning this system, becoming an expert on it, and trying to find ways to make it work with the guys we have. "