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Cheese Curds, 1/24: Packers’ offense expects major improvement in LaFleur’s second year

The Packers are hoping trends with Shanahan disciples continue with an offensive explosion in 2020.

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

When the Green Bay Packers take the field for the regular season opener in 2020, the team and its head coach expect the offense to look different from the 2019 version.

This past season, the team’s offensive efficiency remained relatively static after the change in scheme and head coach from Mike McCarthy to Matt LaFleur. In 2018, Green Bay finished 7th overall in offensive DVOA, with a 12th-place ranking in the passing game and a third-place rushing finish. In 2019, those rankings ended up 8th, 11th, and 4th, respectively. Meanwhile, the team finished with exactly 376 points scored in each season.

But in LaFleur’s recent stops, he has had just one-year tenures, and he looks forward to a full offseason in the same place this spring. That, combined with a second year of OTAs and training camp, should allow him to fully implement his vision of offense for the Packers, a vision that could not be entirely realized in his rookie season as head coach.

Other teams employing coaches from the Shanahan coaching tree have taken until their second years to really drive their offenses forward. That was the case for Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta, as Matt Ryan won MVP in Shanahan (and LaFleur’s) second year there in 2016. Sean McVay’s offense was good in his first year with the Rams in 2017, but truly took flight in 2018. Hopefully that will be the case once again with LaFleur and the 2020 Packers.

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LaFleur will not be changing jobs this offseason, the first time since 2016 that this has been the case. Now with an offseason of certainty ahead of him, he can dive into some self-examination to dig through how his offense can improve for 2020.

Packers offense planning to use more tempo in 2020 | Packers Wire
One way the Packers are sure to look different next season is in using an up-tempo attack more frequently. LaFleur said that part of the offense never really got installed this year, which would explain why they never went hurry-up except for late in the second or fourth quarters.

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Meanwhile, one Packers writer breaks down the keys to improving the team for 2020, which include adding talent at the offensive skill positions and at linebacker.

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Could those additions above come from free agency? If they do, the Packers will hope to get similar impacts from new arrivals that they received from the three big defensive signings in 2019.

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The Packers were one of the most fortunate teams on the injury front this year, a key reason for their 13-3 regular season record. The league is also seeing some steadiness in concussion numbers overall, as the number of diagnosed concussions ticked up only slightly after 2018, when there was a massive drop from the 2017 season.

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