Packers Morning Buzz: Matt LaFleur utilizing indoor football experience
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with The MMQB's Conor Orr writing about how the Packers' Matt LaFleur is one of several young NFL coaches who are utilizing what they learned while playing in professional indoor football leagues (LaFleur played quarterback for the indoor Omaha Beef).
LaFleur said that that during his time with Beef, they played in the National Indoor Football League, an arena tentacle that allowed defenses to play zone in an attempt to curb the astronomical scoring of the AFL. The problem? The field was still shortened and condensed. Every play felt like target practice.
Now, as a play caller and designer in the NFL, tight situations don’t feel as limiting. There’s always a way around.
“That game reminds me of everything in the red zone, because everything is so condensed, and in that league it was condensed wherever you were on the field,” LaFleur said. “Windows would open and close so quickly, you absolutely, 100 percent had to anticipate every throw.”
You can read more about LaFleur's indoor football experience here:
Gennaro Filice of NFL.com examines a burning question for each NFC team. For the Packers, it's this: Can Mike Pettine field a championship-caliber defense?
The last time the Packers boasted a top-10 defense -- by either yards or points -- they won the Super Bowl. Back in 2010, Dom Capers' unit ranked second in scoring defense and fifth in total D. Current general manager Brian Gutekunst, who has worked for this franchise since the late 1990s, clearly longs for those days. In his first two drafts at the helm, the Packers GM has made seven total picks within the first three rounds; five were defensive players, including all three first-round selections. And Gutekunst -- who obviously doesn't share the same aversion to free agency as his predecessor, Ted Thompson -- shelled out $155 million on the open market for a pair of edge rushers (Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith) and a box-friendly safety (Adrian Amos). While Aaron Rodgers received some O-line reinforcements and a fun new mismatch toy (third-round TE Jace Sternberger) this offseason, the bulk of Green Bay's resources have gone to Pettine's defense. The unit showed modest improvements in the coordinator's first year with Green Bay, but the stage could be set for a true breakthrough in Year 2. Keep an eye on first-round safety Darnell Savage, a rangy playmaker who feels like the perfect complement to Amos.
You can read about the burning questions for each NFC team (with a link to AFC teams) here:
David Bakhtiari again steals the show before Game 5 of Bucks-Raptors:
As does an MVP not named Aaron Rodgers:
ESPN's Rob Demovsky looks at the pairing of new safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage Jr.:
Former NFL coach Jeff Turner explains the limitations of OTA practices:
Peter Bukowski of Acme Packing Co. looks at what the potential departure of Josh Jones could mean for Oren Burks:
Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander is going camping this summer:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt