Coaching Change Analysis: Green Bay Packers

An analysis of the likely impact of new head coach Matt LaFleur on Green Bay's offense.

For the first time in 13 years, Mike McCarthy won't be coaching the Packers. Enter Matt LaFleur, plucked from the vine of a popular new coaching tree – Sean McVay. Following the vine down the trunk, one will find the roots of LaFleur’s offense – Kyle Shanahan, Mike Shanahan, and Gary Kubiak.

Matt Lafleur's coaching affiliations

Season Team Coach Pos HC OC Other
2018 Tennessee Titans Offensive Coordinator Mike Vrabel - -
2017 L.A. Rams Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay - -
2016 Atlanta Falcons QB Coach Dan Quinn Kyle Shanahan -
2015 Atlanta Falcons QB Coach Dan Quinn Kyle Shanahan -
2014 Notre Dame QB Coach Brian Kelly Mike Denbrock -
2013 Washington Redskins QB Coach Mike Shanahan Kyle Shanahan Sean McVay (TEs)
2012 Washington Redskins QB Coach Mike Shanahan Kyle Shanahan Sean McVay (TEs)
2011 Washington Redskins QB Coach Mike Shanahan Kyle Shanahan Sean McVay (TEs)
2010 Washington Redskins QB Coach Mike Shanahan Kyle Shanahan Sean McVay (TEs)
2009 Houston Texans Offensive Quality Control Gary Kubiak Kyle Shanahan -
2008 Houston Texans Offensive Quality Control Gary Kubiak Kyle Shanahan -

Each coach has utilized the outside-zone run paired with similar action passing plays to set up punches, counter punches, and knockouts. Each has varied personnel groups to maximize success. Most recently, McVay has utilized 11 personnel with three solid receivers (Jay Gruden influence) to give the scheme a revamped look.

What type of impact can we expect from Matt LaFleur on the Packers in 2019?

Play Volume - No Change

The Packers attempted 973 plays last season and have averaged 972 over the past three campaigns. LaFleur only had play-calling duties last season with the Titans, which manufactured a measly 893 attempts.

Traditionally, coordinators utilizing this scheme haven't dip that low. The influence of defensive-minded head coach Mike Vrabel, quarterback health, and game scripts are likely contributing factors. The team was managing very tight margins (0.4 points average margin of victory).

Mike McCarthy attempt volume and splits

Team Season Plays Attempts Pass Att Pass % Rush Att Rush % Pass % Tied Rush % Tied
GB 2018 1026 973 640 66% 333 34% 61% 39%
GB 2017 999 948 562 59% 386 41% 56% 44%
GB 2016 1029 994 620 62% 374 38% 62% 38%
AVG 1018 972 607 63% 364 37%

matt lafleur attempt volume and splits

Team Season Plays Attempts Pass Att Pass % Rush Att Rush % Pass % Tied Rush % Tied
TEN 2018 940 893 437 49% 456 51% 51% 49%
LAR 2017 1000 972 518 53% 454 47% 61% 39%
ATL 2016 995 958 537 56% 421 44% 62% 38%
ATL 2015 1073 1041 621 60% 420 40% 61% 39%
WAS 2013 1107 1064 611 57% 453 43% 47% 53%
WAS 2012 994 961 442 46% 519 54% 46% 54%
WAS 2011 1032 991 591 60% 400 40% 57% 43%
WAS 2010 1002 956 605 63% 351 37% - -
HOU 2009 1043 1018 593 58% 425 42% - -
HOU 2008 1019 987 555 56% 432 44% - -
AVG 1021 984 551 56% 433 44% - -

Over time there aren't enough consistent high or low marks to project this offense much the NFL average of 977.

2019 Projected Attempts: 985

Pass vs. Run Splits - Increase in Running

McCarthy and the Packers played from behind 52%, 61%, and 37% of plays the last three seasons. Despite playing behind less in 2016, McCarthy still utilized a pass-heavy approach (62%).

The percentage of run attempts will go up based on the design of this offense. The question is by how much. Vegas has the Packers at nine wins. Since 2012 teams with eight to nine wins play 46% of snaps from behind. Teams with 10 to 11 wins play 37% of snaps trailing.

Leading, tied, and trailing splits vs wins (2012 to 2018)

Wins >= 12 10 to 11 8 to 9 6 to 7 <=6
Leading % 51% 44% 33% 31% 22%
Tied % 19% 20% 20% 19% 18%
Trailing % 30% 37% 46% 51% 60%

Projected 2019 Split: 57% Pass (-9%) and 43% Run (+9%)

Scheme and Personnel Utilization Notes

Mike McCarthy's utilization of 11 personnel goes back a long way. In 2018 it was used on 78% of plays. The Titans saw an increase in 11 personnel under LaFleur at 56%.

LaFleur, Shanahan, and McVay scheme splits vs. league averages

NFL LaFleur Shanahan McVay
11 Personnel 65% 56% 42% 89%
Under Center 37% 49% 56% 63%
Shotgun 63% 51% 44% 37%
Run % Under Center 68% 71% 61% 66%
Run % Shotgun 23% 25% 18% 4%
YPA Under Center - 8.7 9.3 8.9
YPA Under Center Play Action - 9.0 9.8 10.5
YPA Shotgun - 6.5 7.2 7.5
YPA Shotgun Play Action - 8.8 13.2 7.4

Each of these coaches deploys a similar scheme via different personnel groupings and quarterback alignment. Understanding how LaFleur plans on utilizing his personnel has important fantasy implications.

Under McCarthy, Rodgers was never able to squeeze consistent efficiency increases out of play-action like the rest of the league. Over the past seven years, Rodgers yards-per-attempt differential was at the league average or below five times.

In six out of the last ten seasons, McCarthy’s teams have ranked below the league average (4.6%) in explosive runs (greater than or equal to 15 yards). Matt LaFleur, on the other hand, has been around some of the most explosive running games in seven of ten seasons. McCarthy’s teams have averaged 4.1% versus 5.3% for LaFleur.

Fantasy Stock Impact

Aaron Rodgers – Holding Steady

Matt Ryan and Jared Goff have had career seasons in this scheme. John Elway rode this scheme to two Super Bowls in the twilight of his career. Matt Schaub was more than fantasy viable under Gary Kubiak. Rodgers could thrive. It is a matter of he and LaFleur finding the right play designs that integrate scheme principles and what Rodgers does best. If things are clicking early, this assessment easily flips to up. Rodgers could see big efficiency gains in an effective play-action aided scheme.

Aaron Jones – Up

At a minimum, LaFleur's commitment to more balance creates the opportunity for more carries. Jones is a better fit for the wide zone scheme than Jamaal Williams. For a full breakdown on the range of outcomes, see Jones’ Player Spotlight.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling – Up

Valdes-Scantling is holding down the number two wide receiver role entering training camp. Operating as number two insulates his value whichever way LaFleur decides to lean regarding personnel groupings. He is an ascending talent who could be as high as number two in the pecking order for targets from an elite quarterback.

Geronimo Allison – Holding Steady

Allison enters training camp as the lead slot option. His value is dependent on how the personnel grouping situation pans out. If LaFleur heads the way of McVay, Allison could see value similar to Cooper Kupp at a massive discount. If LaFleur stays closer to his 56% of 11 personnel groupings like last year, Allison will struggle to deliver consistently unless he overtakes Valdes-Scantling in two-wide looks.



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