4:01 PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS — Matt LaFleur won’t blowup Aaron Rodgers‘ phone with calls, texts, emojis and GIFs telling his quarterback how much the Green Bay Packers want him back for another season.
LaFleur knows Rodgers has plenty to ponder.
But the Packers coach also wants to keep the lines of communication open while Rodgers goes through his decision-making process.
“I told him, I don’t wanna be overbearing and tell him every day how much we love him and how much we want him back,” LaFleur said Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine. “So you just wanna be respectful of his space and allow him to think through everything clearly without being annoying, I guess.”
However, LaFleur made it clear how involved Rodgers was in the hiring of his new quarterbacks coach after Luke Getsy left to become the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator. It was no coincidence that LaFleur lured Tom Clements, one of Rodgers’ original coaches in the NFL, out of retirement.
“He had a significant role,” LaFleur said when asked what part Rodgers played in the hire.
“I would say that in terms of just our conversations over the last couple years and how much he credits Tom for his development, it was very intriguing when we had an opportunity.”
Yet LaFleur wasn’t willing to make the connection that Clements’ return meant a Rodgers’ return was imminent even though those familiar with the process don’t believe the 68-year-old Clements came out of retirement to coach Jordan Love.
“Well, I don’t want to get into those conversations too much, but certainly when you have a player of that caliber, as important as he’s been to this organization, and then when he credits and gives somebody like that so much praise, to me you’d be foolish not to listen to that,” LaFleur said. “So that’s why I wanted to go sit down with Tom, and he’s a very impressive guy.”
LaFleur had never before worked with Clements, who was on previous coach Mike McCarthy’s staff from 2006-2016, and they two had never spoken before they met over lunch in Los Angeles during Super Bowl week.
“I think we interviewed each other to some level, but just the conversations we had, it’s pretty easy for me to see why he is such a great quarterbacks coach and developer and such a great communicator,” LaFleur said. “He’s got such a great even keel demeanor and just really excited to sit in a room with him and start to go through our process, really evaluate everything that we’ve done, or done on film and learn from him, because I know he’s been coaching this game a lot longer than I have. So, I just think his ability to develop quarterbacks no matter who’s in the room is going to be very beneficial to the Green Bay Packer organization.”
LaFleur’s comments came a day after Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters at the NFL scouting combine that he has not fielded any trade offers for Rodgers and that he believes the two-time reigning NFL MVP will make a decision before free agency opens on March 16.
Rodgers said last week during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show that he had “a few more things to contemplate but it won’t be long” before he decides whether to play in 2022 and if so, if it’s for the Packers.
“You always want to be respectful,” LaFleur said. “I know it’s a lot to take on, he’s got a lot to think about, and certainly I’m making sure that I’m consistently communicating with him but also want to be respectful of his time and the process that he has to go through.”
Source: ESPN NFL