By HCR Staff | May 4, 2020
Heads were turned when the Packers maneuvered in the first round of the recent draft to select Utah State QB Jordan Love. Whether Love pans out or not, we weren’t surprised.
Love’s selection further illustrated an operating principle common in the coaching position – at any level.
New, or new-ish head coaches like Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur, simply want their own guys. And anytime a new head coach comes in, roster turnover in the first 2 years of their tenure will be significant.
The instinct to get their “own guys” may even be stronger than the desire to win in some cases. It’s what causes new head coaches to bring in their old coaching pals – even if those associates have failed elsewhere.
Head coaches simply need to be surrounded by players and coaches that make the head coach feel warm and fuzzy.
When it comes to players, head coaches prefer programming virgin players; trying to get a veteran player to follow a new program is perceived as too much work.
Did the Packers need Love in 2020? We feel no. After all, this was a team that was one game from the Super Bowl last season. There are good pieces there, with a young, rapidly improving defense. Most objective observers felt the Packers were just a couple offensive pieces away from strong contention again.
The Love selection is data that shows that LaFleur wants to implement his program, and the best way to do that is from the QB position. It’s entirely possible that LaFleur felt the culture around the team revolved too much around QB Aaron Rodgers’ temperament and personality.
Whether LaFleur is right or wrong isn’t the issue. He’s the head coach, and it’s his job to create the culture he wants. On the surface, it looks like he sacrificed some opportunity to help get the Packers to the Super Bowl in 2020.