Matt LaFleur has done an incredible job since taking over as the Green Bay Packers head coach, winning 13 games in each of his first three seasons.
The national media, however, has mostly downplayed LaFleur’s success.
It seems like we’ve heard a lot of national media outlets shift the credit from LaFleur to future Hall of Famer quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
I get it — Rodgers is a generational player who certainly makes life easier for head coaches.
But it’s not like having Rodgers on the roster automatically equals success. Mike McCarthy was fired after going 7-9 in 2017 and 4-7-1 in 2018 (he was fired after 12 games).
(To be fair, Rodgers missed nine games in 2017, but he played in all 16 games in 2018.)
LaFleur stepped into a situation that was trending in the wrong direction and immediately turned it around. A big reason why has been his ability to connect with Rodgers. It took a bit for the two to figure out their relationship, but so far it’s proved to be the main ingredient to the Packers’ recent regular-season success.
So how does LaFleur feel about not receiving the proper credit from the national media?
He doesn’t care one bit.
“That s–t doesn’t bother me,” said LaFleur recently to The Ringer. “It’s not about me, it’s about everybody else. This thing doesn’t operate with just one dude. You can lay out a vision and certainly you’ve got to make some decisions, but it takes everyone.”
“Most importantly, it takes these guys,” added LaFleur. “They’re always the most important. I want to do right by our guys, or at least be open enough to listen to their concerns and then ultimately do what’s in the best interest of everybody.”
It’s natural for humans to crave affirmation. Even the most self-confident person in sports still likes to receive some credit. And I’m sure there’s some of that deep inside of LaFleur.
But I believe his answer there. He’s right — it takes more than one person to make an NFL franchise successful. While LaFleur is more than just a cog in the wheel, he’s also only one person. It takes numerous people doing their job properly to make an NFL franchise run correctly.
LaFleur has a good thing going in Green Bay. And he’s not worried about what other people think. Hell, that’s probably why he’s been so successful — he’s not letting any of the outside noise affect him.
Featured image via Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK