The last time we spoke with sports contributor Shaun Ranft, the Green Bay Packers had just fired longtime coach Mike McCarthy in the midst of a second consecutive mediocre season, replacing him on an interim basis with Joe Philbin. The season didn’t get any better and the Packers missed out on the playoffs — by a lot.
This week, after reportedly considering up to a dozen high-profile names to replace McCarthy, the Packers hired someone who was more under-the-radar: Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.
"The only criticism I think I would have as someone looking at this from the outside is, 'Wow, that didn't take long at all,'" says sports contributor Shaun Ranft. "Granted, they did get a four week or so head start when they let Mike McCarthy go, so maybe they had been penciling him in a little stronger than we would think over the past week."
Ranft notes that LaFleur will be charged with both better management and a complete makeover of the Packers.
"They definitely need to alter how they do things," he says. "As we saw, Mike McCarthy was the primary play-caller for years and it seems to have gotten a little stale."
The Packers do have formidable talent in quarterback Aaron Rodgers and running back Aaron Jones, and Ranft says LaFleur would be wise to utilize the strengths the team already has.
"LaFleur's gonna definitely have to overhaul a bit of the offense, but he's got some talent to work with so the biggest thing is just making these adjustments for Rodgers and finding the right guy who will make Rodgers make these adjustments," he explains.
Ultimately at the end of the Packers' season, Ranft says we "can't really judge this hire until you see literally anything that happens ... Hopefully, a fresh face and some new experience will kickstart something."
Shaun Ranft joined Lake Effect's Mitch Teich in the studio to talk in greater detail about this latest quick-hire move at Lambeau Field: