Packers Morning Buzz: Matt LaFleur stressing early-down efficiency

Stu Courtney
Packers News
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Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at

We'll start with Jim Owczarski writing that Packers coach Matt LaFleur is putting an emphasis on better early-down performance to avoid the kind of third-and-long situations they frequently found themselves in against the Bears in the season opener.

Owczarski writes:

After a weekend of self-scouting and the transition into game-planning this week for the home opener against another stout defense in Minnesota, LaFleur said a higher efficiency on the early downs can help alleviate some of that pressure on not only himself, but his team. 

“Just staying in manageable situations, staying ahead of the sticks,” LaFleur said. “Not having negative yardage plays. If you look at the third downs, the bulk of them were third-and-10 plus last week and that’s tough living, especially when you're going against a quality defense. I think if you look at (Minnesota head coach) Mike Zimmer and his past with that defense there, they’ve always been one of the tops in the league in overall defense, but also in third downs because they present so many problems. So we know that’s going to be a huge key to this game is staying out of those third-and-long-yardage situations.”

You can read more about this and other topics (including David Bakhtiari's injury status) here:

Here's a look at Thursday's injury report:

It's not unusual for a new head coach's offense to struggle in its first game. Pete Dougherty wonders when we'll see improvement:

Although the Vikings have some weapons at wide receiver, the Packers' main defensive focus Sunday will be elsewhere:

Our Packers Podcast features insightful analysis from Owczarski and Tom Silverstein:

Should fans stand or should they sit? It has become a topic for debate at Lambeau Field, writes Richard Ryman:

Former Packers running back Paul Hornung, who was suspended for the entire 1963 season for gambling, was named to place the ceremonial first bet at an Indiana sports book:

Several former Packers star are on the initial Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot:

The former Cowboys star signed with the Saints last November and immediately suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in practice:

In an admittedly way-to-early 2020 mock draft, The MMQB (using Vegas odds and other factors to determine the draft order) projects the Packers to draft a wide receiver with the 25th pick in the first round:

25. Green Bay Packers: Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama

Saying Ruggs is fast would be an understatement. Per Matt Zenitz of, Ruggs ran the 40-yard dash “in the 4.25 range” at Alabama’s junior Pro Day. As a sophomore, Ruggs finished 2018 with 46 catches for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns.

You can read about the entire mock draft here:

The Power Sweep presents some interesting statistical numbers:

Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt

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