GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - At 39, Matt LaFleur is only four years older than the star quarterback he will coach. Aaron Rodgers and LaFleur have already had one conversation, and there will be many, many more.
When president/CEO Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst, and vice president Russ Ball each decided LaFleur was their man, Gutekunst had the quarterback call the coach before an offer was made.
Now that the deal is signed, LaFleur can really begin the process of building the relationship that is most important to making this thing work.
One of the tasks for the new head coach is to help Rodgers return to his normal form -- and the form the team shelled out huge money for.
The process begins by tuning out the noise from last season about Rodgers' falling out with coach Mike McCarthy and how the quarterback might be difficult to coach after spending 13 years in the same system.
"The one thing I'll lean on is going back to Atlanta and coming in when you are dealing with a guy like Matt Ryan who had eight years in the league," LaFleur recounted in his introductory news conference Wednesday.
"It comes down to developing that relationship, that trust especially with the quarterback. So honestly, I'm not going to have any preconceived notions moving forward. I just want to try to develop the best relationship with Aaron because he is a key piece to the puzzle and a key reason why we are going to get where we want to go."
He continued, "You do that by being in constant communication. He needs to know I care about the players I work with."
LaFleur said Rodgers cares about every player on the roster, and they share the same desire to win.
LaFleur's first order of business is assembling a staff. He said he hasn't made any decisions about holdover coaches, including defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.