Per Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated, neither Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur nor the rest of the Packers coaching staff will be present in Indianapolis for the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. LaFleur hasn’t had an opportunity to speak with the media since his end-of-year press conference and joins a growing crew of coaching staffs who are electing to work from the headquarters during the pre-draft process.
In total, 20 of 32 of the NFL’s head coaches will speak at the combine. It’s worth noting here that the coaches who are opting out of speaking in Indianapolis generally come from the coaching trees that LaFleur developed under. Among the 12 head coaches who aren’t making the flight to Lucas Oil Stadium, two of them (Mike Vrable and Arthur Smith) come from Tennessee — where LaFleur was previously the offensive coordinator — and five more (LaFleur, Brandon Staley, Sean McVay, Robert Saleh and Kyle Shanahan) have coached with each other in the past.
The head coaches who LaFleur isn’t connected to who are skipping the combine this year are Buffalo’s Sean McDermott, New England’s Bill Belichick, New Orleans’ Dennis Allen, the New York Giants’ Brian Daboll and Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin. Electing to stay home for the combine could be seen as a preventative measure against the poaching of young assistants in response to the league’s recent rule change that revoked the ability of teams to block assistants from interviewing for coordinator positions. After all, the combine is as much a networking event as it is a work trip.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst will be speaking with the media at 10 AM local time on Tuesday, February 28th, though. This should come only a few short hours before quarterback Aaron Rodgers makes his return on The Pat McAfee Show later that day following his much-talked-about darkness retreat.
Buckle up. Tuesday should be a big news day for Green Bay.