Yet none of them is talking about those types of accolades this year on a team that’s 9-3, Green Bay’s best record at this stage since 2014, long before any of them were Packers. They’ve bought into what new Head Coach Matt LaFleur is building and where the team is going without regard to “stats or ego,” according to Rodgers.
“It’s been an embracing of the challenge and of the responsibility,” he said. “I think with that responsibility comes a lot of accountability as well. And I think guys have embraced their roles and I think it’s made us collectively a lot tighter group and a better team.”
As for how the Packers are going to emerge victorious in that next game, Sunday against Washington at Lambeau Field, LaFleur put it pretty simply: “We’re going to do whatever it takes to win.”
The comment was both flippant and truthful, as well as a reflection of LaFleur’s approach in his first year being much more about the culture within the team than the playbooks it’s using.
General Manager Brian Gutekunst executed what ranks as the biggest roster overhaul in one offseason since Ted Thompson’s early years at the helm. Free agency in March and the draft in April produced six new full-time starters and other rotational players.
From there, LaFleur has led in his own way, establishing the roles for individuals and pushing them to maximize on everything they can bring to that role.
“I think he set the vision from Day 1 when he got here,” Rodgers said. “He had a simple set of rules and there’s an expectation of doing your part. I think he’s empowered people to give more of themselves and as they’ve given more of themselves, I think there’s been a natural calm that’s come over the team.”
A calm that has diminished concerns about exactly how they’re going to win, but rather instilled a belief that they’ll find a way.
Sure, LaFleur might prefer to know exactly what he can count on from his offense and defense any given week, and what the team can hang its hat on X’s and O’s-wise to get an edge. But he’s not sweating some of that uncertainty, because he has a culture that’s working.
“When guys are more relaxed, guys are more confident, guys are more themselves,” Rodgers said. “I give him and the leadership of the football team a lot of credit for that.”