The Green Bay Packers are officially back, and the rest of the NFC is on notice. The Packers sit at 6-1 and atop the NFC North division, thanks in no small part to a resurgence from Aaron Rodgers in recent weeks.
But as we have discussed at APC in depth, there’s more to the team’s hot start than just Rodgers’ play. The defense is playing at a high level, forcing turnovers and getting big stops in the red zone. And the running game is contributing as well.
Ultimately, it all starts at the top, with head coach Matt LaFleur. And while he has been adept at adapting his offensive game plan to his opponents, perhaps his greatest contribution in 2019 has been shaking up the culture at 1265 Lombardi Avenue.
New players and longtime Packers veterans are talking about it. The feel around this team is different; there is a level of fun and enjoyment that seemed to be lacking the past few years, and LaFleur has generated a high degree of trust throughout the roster and coaching staff in just a few months. The results on the field have borne that out, with players up and down the roster contributing and virtually all facets of the team playing well.
Rodgers is certainly the biggest on-field reason for the team’s recent success — his perfect passer rating on Sunday being the latest reminder that he hasn’t lost the “it” factor. And it’s fun to hear from new Packers just how impressive he is as a player. But through seven games, it’s hard to imagine a better fit as this team’s head coach than LaFleur.
Inside the Cultural Shift That Returned the Packers to the NFL’s Elite - The Ringer
Robert Mays goes longform here on the Packers' makeover, which starts at the top. Matt LaFleur seems much more connected to his players, and has fostered an environment that seems more fun. That's reflected in the team's play and the camaraderie fans can see on the field.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers won't divulge the secrets of the no-look pass | Packersnews.com
Rodgers wouldn't even tell some of his close teammates like A.J. Hawk or Tramon Williams how he does it -- to the point where Williams cracked up with laughter when a media member asked if the quarterback had given away the secret.
Matt LaFleur says Packers WR Davante Adams could be game-time decision vs. Chiefs | Packers Wire
Similarly to Patrick Mahomes for Kansas City, Adams has a chance to play this week.
'It's completely different with him': Players amazed by Aaron Rodgers - ESPN
Billy Turner said that the only type of performance he had ever seen that measured up to Rodgers' game in week seven was from Rodgers himself, on film. Preston Smith wasn't shocked, though, having been on the other side of the ball from #12 three times in his career.
What You Might’ve Missed: Confusion, cunning and courage | Packers.com
Matt LaFleur schemed up some easy throws for Rodgers on Sunday, but the QB also made some terrific decisions and throws from tough spots. Credit should go to both men for the results.
Man Wearing Creepy, ‘Realistic’ Mask Passes School Bomb Threats Note At Restaurant, In Hopes Of Robbing Local Bank – CBS Pittsburgh
See if you can follow this one. A guy in a mask goes into a Bob Evans and passes a note threatening a bomb attack at two schools, all in order to rob a bank.
Believe it or not, this didn't happen in Florida.