Green Bay Packers introduce Matt LaFleur as new head coach

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy, right, shakes hands with new head coach Matt LaFleur at a news conference Wednesday in Green Bay, Wis. (AP photo)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Matt LaFleur has never been in charge of an NFL team before, and until last year had never called plays for one either.

On Wednesday, he took over the Green Bay Packers, who have missed the playoffs two years in a row — and a team with a two-time MVP quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, whom LaFleur must help to get back to playing his best.

“I briefly spoke to (Rodgers) prior to accepting the job,” LaFleur said during an introductory news conference at Lambeau Field on Wednesday.

“That’s kind of how I had an idea that maybe I was in the running for it.”

According to team president Mark Murphy and general manager Brian Gutekunst, LaFleur was by far the best of the other nine candidates who interviewed for the job after longtime head coach Mike McCarthy was fired on Dec. 2 with four games remaining in his 13th season in charge.

New head coach Matt LaFleur laughs at a news conference held by the Packers on Wednesday in Green Bay, Wis. (AP photo)

“Went through the nine (interviews) and quite honestly, no one really stood out,” Murphy said. “There were a lot of strong candidates, but there wasn’t one that just jumped out at us.

“Matt was our last candidate, and we’d heard great things about Matt through our vetting process. A lot of the coaches and others that we talked to talked about his background, his experience. So were really excited going into it.”