Packers head coach Matt LaFleur met with reporters Wednesday, three days after Green Bay’s season ended one game short of the Super Bowl with a lopsided 37-20 loss at San Francisco.
These season wrap-up news conferences don’t tend to be all that illuminating since coaches have had a chance to cool down and digest the big picture of a season.
But LaFleur? He had a lot to say in regard to the loss to the 49ers, particularly about the Packers’ energy level. When asked about the defense, which gave up 285 rushing yards Sunday, LaFleur didn’t mince words.
“They definitely outcoached us,” LaFleur said. “I just didn’t feel like we played with the same urgency, the same tenacity, the same toughness. We didn’t set the edge the same as we had been earlier this season. It’s disappointing because it’s not like we didn’t know what they were going to try to do. We knew exactly what they were going to try to do. We knew they were going to run the football. … I just didn’t think we played with the same effort as what I had seen earlier in the season.”
The follow-up question to that asked how Green Bay could lack effort in a game with a Super Bowl berth on the line.
“Yeah, that’s a great question. That’s something that I’m still trying to figure out right now as we speak,” LaFleur said. “I mean, I don’t understand that, because you’re there. You have an opportunity to go to play in a Super Bowl and for that to happen, it’s extremely … it’s bothersome. We have to look at ourselves, everybody. I’m gonna look inside of myself and see why weren’t our players playing with their hair on fire. I think everybody in our organization has to do that.”
There were plenty of positives LaFleur took from the 13-3 season that were sprinkled throughout his 30-minute session. But it will be interesting to see how the notion of a lack of effort plays in the Packers locker room.