Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur went on ”The Rich Eisen Show,” where he was asked about the team’s offensive struggles in cold weather and the possibility of trading for wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
The offense was the first topic of discussion.
“The general sense is the offense you’re running with (Aaron) Rodgers at the helm is not equipped to win games when it’s snowing and 10 degrees outside, and that you would be better off playing in a warmer climate,” Eisen said.
The last two postseasons have ended with the Packers playing at home. In the 2020 NFC Championship Game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the offense scored 26 points and totaled 381 yards, 314 through the air, with temperatures just below freezing. Last year, the offense was far less successful in much colder temperatures against the San Francisco 49ers. Green Bay’s offense had their second-worst performance of the year, 10 points and 263 total yards, at a temperature of 14 degrees.
LaFleur did not dodge the question and instead talked about learning from those experiences moving forward.
“I think everybody is probably a little emotional about the last game, and it still hurts,” LaFleur said. “But I think one thing you always have to do is recognize your past and try to learn from every situation. You got to give the San Francisco 49ers a lot of credit. We knew that was going to be a tough game. They were such a great defense and a very physical football team.”
“I don’t think of myself, more so than anybody, did their job to the standard that we like to do it at.”
Over the course of the entire game, the Packers threw the ball 29 times and ran it 20. Both were below average for what they had done in the regular season, but it was still a decent balanced attack. One big issue was the rushing attack accumulating just 67 yards and 3.4 yards per carry. During the regular season, Green Bay averaged 111 rushing yards per game and 4.2 yards per carry.
It was an execution issue more than anything, which is why LaFleur does not subscribe to the idea that his offense is unfit to play in cold weather.
“I do not, but everybody is entitled to their own opinion. It’s up to us to do something about it and prove people wrong, and until we do, that will be the narrative,” LaFleur said.
The conversation then moved to Samuel, who requested a trade earlier in the offseason. Eisen wondered if LaFleur called his friend Kyle Shanahan to inquire about Samuel.
“I did not call Kyle Shanahan,” LaFleur responded laughingly. “I’ve been on the other end of that call before.”
LaFleur was of course referencing the 2021 offseason when Shanahan called about Aaron Rodgers when the MVP quarterback was extremely disgruntled with his status on the team and threatened not to return.
However, pertaining to San Francisco’s unhappy receiver, LaFleur would not say general manager Brian Gutekunst didn’t call about Samuel. The Packers likely gauged the 49ers’ interest in a trade before or during the NFL draft, but it appears they still hope to reach a long-term deal with Samuel.