Homecoming of sorts for Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur on Sunday in Washington
LaFleur’s first NFL job was with the Houston Texans. He was hired as an offensive assistant in 2008 by then Texans coach Gary Kubiak after LaFleur spent a season as the offensive coordinator at Division II and GLIAC member Ashland, Ohio.
LaFleur served as an offensive assistant with the Texans, lending his help to wide receivers and quarterbacks. But it was in Washington where LaFleur made his first true mark in the league.
After developing a close relationship with then-Texans offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, LaFleur joined Shanahan in Washington when Shanahan’s father, Mike, was hired as Redskins head coach and vice president of football operations in 2010.
“Yeah, that was pretty much my foundation in this league,” LaFleur said. “I got the opportunity to work with a lot of great people: Mike Shanahan and some of my closest friends in this business and in life, Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan, Mike McDaniel. There was a lot of good people. It was a really great learning experience for me.”
The 40-year-old LaFleur, who played wide receiver at Western Michigan and quarterback at Division II Saginaw Valley State, coached quarterbacks for Washington from 2010-13. His primary responsibility was to mentor rookies Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins during the 2012 season.
Under LaFleur, Griffin III set records for the highest passer rating (102.4) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (20-5) by a rookie quarterback.
Washington has changed a bit since then. Mike Shanahan is out of the league and Bill Callahan is now leading the Redskins’ charge. Sean McVay led the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl last season and Kyle Shanahan has his own team in San Francisco.
With a win on Sunday, LaFleur would pass Mike Holmgren and Mike Sherman (9-7) for the most wins by a Packers head coach in their first NFL season.