5 things learned from Matt LaFleur’s season-ending news conference

5 things learned from Matt LaFleur’s season-ending news conference

GREEN BAY – Packers head coach Matt LaFleur previewed the 2022 season during a 30-minute press conference with the Green Bay media on Monday. Here are five things we learned.

1. The Packers don’t expect many changes to the coaching staff.

Green Bay is still going through its postseason evaluations, but LaFleur said he anticipates having most of his staff in place in 2023, including defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

The Packers finished in the top 10 in the NFL in pass defense (197.0 yards per game, sixth), third-down defense (37.6%, sixth) and interceptions (17, tied for fourth).

Overall, Green Bay was 17th in total defense (336.5 yards per game) and scoring defense (21.8 points per game).

“It’s my goal to try and get everybody back,” LaFleur said. “I think continuity is a big part of being successful in this league. And when you feel good with people, you have to work to improve and we have to challenge each other. I think there’s going to be a lot of projects that we’re going to do in this offseason, which we probably haven’t done as well in the last couple of seasons, in studying other teams and trends throughout the league.”

The Packers defense went through a rough patch after Rashan Gary was lost for the season in Week 9 against Detroit, but has rebounded over the past month, including a three-game stretch in December in which Green Bay allowed just nine points. in the second half (Chicago, LA Rams and Miami).

LaFleur acknowledged that there could be changes if any assistant gets other NFL opportunities. Last year, Nathaniel Hackett (Denver), Luke Getsy (Chicago), Justin Outten (Denver) and Kevin Koger (LA Chargers) left for promotions elsewhere.

2. LaFleur will talk to Aaron Rodgers soon.

LaFleur didn’t want to delve too much into the future of the Packers’ four-time MVP quarterback, but said he plans to “get together sometime this week” with Rodgers.

The 39-year-old quarterback completed 350 of 542 passes (64.6%) for 3,695 yards, 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions (91.0 passer rating) while playing through a broken thumb suffered in Week 5.

Offensively, the Packers finished 14th in scoring (21.8 ppg), 17th in total yards (337.9 ypg) and 12th in turnover margin (plus-2). The biggest problem Green Bay faced this season was its production in the red zone (51.9%, 24th) and field goal percentage (50%, 32nd).

“I think there were a lot of variables at play this year. I really did,” LaFleur said. “Certainly, are there some things that (Rodgers) could have done better? Absolutely. Just like there are some things that I know I could have done better.

“You can go straight to any coach, any player and there were a lot of new pieces in there and sometimes it takes a little bit more than others, and of course we got to have some great conversations about where we go with our scheme and What are we going to do.”

3. LaFleur liked what he saw from David Bakhtiari.

The five-time All-Pro left tackle returned to form in 2022 after undergoing three surgeries in an 18-month span.

Bakhtiari missed the first two games and the start against Washington in Week 7 with the knee and three games in December after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.

However, Bakhtiari returned for the Packers’ final two games at Lambeau Field, playing 597 snaps in 11 starts this season.

When asked Monday if he had seen enough of Bakhtiari to seek him out as Green Bay’s left tackle, LaFleur said yes.

“Yeah, yeah,” LaFleur said. “I thought once we got him back there on a consistent basis, once we learned how to practice him better, once he learned how to do that for himself, I thought he played at a pretty high level.”

During the Packers’ final locker room Monday morning, the 31-year-old Bakhtiari said he was looking forward to a surgery-free offseason.

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