Matt LaFleur isn’t letting his wide receivers get too comfortable
Following preseason, the Green Bay Packers don’t yet have a clear-cut number one wide receiver. With the departure of Davante Adams this offseason, head coach Matt LaFleur is expecting someone in the wide receiver corps to step up this season and be a leader on the team. The Packers are mixing veterans like Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb with rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been vocal about his frustrations with the group—especially the young receivers. Head coach Matt LaFleur is checking the egos of the older veterans. Per Matt Schneidman of the Athletic, LaFleur doesn’t think a wide receiver has emerged from preseason as a number one receiver:
“I don’t think anybody’s clear cut in front of the other guy. I think it’s gonna be very much the ball’s gonna get spread around and we’re gonna try to feature guys in different spots.”
PSA from Matt LaFleur to stay away from Packers WRs in fantasy:
"I don't think anybody's clear cut in front of the other guy. I think it's gonna be very much the ball's gonna get spread around and we're gonna try to feature different guys in different spots."
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) August 31, 2022
LaFleur’s message echos Rodgers’ recent comments
Rodgers made comments that were similar to LaFleur’s in training camp. Rodgers believes the Packers will throw the ball to different players, with particular emphasis on the running backs. LaFleur and Rodgers have complained about the Packers receivers dropping passes in practice.
Per Zach Kruse of USA Today, LaFleur was irritated by drops in the Packers’ preseason game against the New Orleans Saints:
After drops plagued the preseason opener and at times during joint practices, Packers coach Matt LaFleur said he counted at least five more drops on Friday night.
“Unfortunately, we, again, had too many drops. I want to say we had at least five drops on offense,” LaFleur said post-game.
LaFleur was especially irritated with rookie Samori Toure’s drop on a beautiful throw down the field from Love in the second half.
“The ball has to be caught,” LaFleur said.
Matt LaFleur will have to game plan around the wide receivers
The Packers’ wide receivers have been the butt of jokes this off-season. Even Chicago Bears legend Dick Butkus got a jab in at their expense. LaFleur has a tremendous offensive mind and can put the Packers in an excellent position to move the ball downfield, even with the challenge of subpar wide receivers. The Packers will need to be creative with their running backs.
Fortunately for the Packers, the defense will be the best part of the team. That’s what makes this Packers team special. They have the advantage of having a great quarterback and an elite defense. The results might be better in February than what the Packers had with a top receiver like Adams.