Former Packers LB: Matt LaFleur "Absolutely On Track"

The Packers offense has been up and down this season, but Brady Poppinga sees progress

Reiter Than You
December 13, 2019 - 9:23 am
Aaron Rodgers Matt LaFleur Packers

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The Green Bay Packers have had an up-and-down season, even if it doesn’t show in the win-loss column. The Packers are 10-3 and atop the NFC North, but their offense has been inconsistent. At times, it has looked unstoppable; other times, it seemingly stops itself. The Packers rank 23rd in total offense and 13th in scoring offense (23.8 points per game).

So, how is Matt LaFleur doing in his first season? Is he on track in terms of where this team should be?

“Absolutely he is on track,” former Packers linebacker Brady Poppinga said on Reiter Than You. “He is not on the level of where he’s eventually going to be. He’s going to be able to give Aaron all the tools that he needs to be a dominator. And then, he’s going to be able to build game-plans in conjunction with Aaron that are just deadly, and then he’s going to let Aaron go out and be an extension of his own mind. You got to remember this takes time for these guys a) to get comfortable with each other, which is looking like they’re doing just fine, but then b) to become basically the same mind to where you’re thinking the same thing.”

Rodgers had a brilliant six-touchdown day against the Raiders in Week 7. But he has thrown for fewer than 240 yards in four of his last six games, including three straight.

Poppinga, who played for the Packers from 2005-10, believes those numbers will improve. It takes time for players to gel with a new coach and get on the same page, but once they do, they can often predict which play the coach will call in which situation.

“That’s where they’re going to get, and that takes time,” Poppinga said. “So he’s right on schedule. The only downfall he gets – and McCarthy also suffered through it – you got an all-time great quarterback sitting back there, and man, you just want to see him throw the ball all over the yard. You just want to see him back there just zipping the ball all over the place. Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t really help with that if you’re in Green Bay. It’s getting cold. The ball doesn’t fly through the air. And then at the same time, if you’ve got a defense that just can pin their ears back and rush the quarterback, it makes life very difficult for those offensive linemen – and we saw that last game with Aaron. They just had a tough time protecting him. 

“So you can’t get too overzealous having a stud quarterback,” Poppinga continued, “but at the same time, he’s right on track for where he needs to be. As long as they stay where they’re at, they’re going to be in an even better situation next year where they’re really getting a good feel for what each other’s thinking.”

The Packers host the Bears (7-6) at Lambeau Fields this Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET.