SPORTS

LaFleur On Rodgers: ‘We Want Him Back In The Worst Way’

May 14, 2021, 3:10 PM
Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers...
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers speaks with head coach Matt LaFleur during the second half of the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur reiterated his hope that he’d get to continue working with Aaron Rodgers this season while offering no news on the quarterback’s status.

“I’ve got nothing new to update, and we still obviously feel the same way,” LaFleur said Friday after the opening workout of the Packers’ rookie minicamp.

“We want him back in the worst way. I know he knows that and, you know, we’ll continue to work at it each and every day.”

After ESPN reported just before the draft that Rodgers doesn’t want to return to Green Bay, Packers CEO Mark Murphy posted a column on the team’s website in which he said “this is an issue that we’ve been working on for several months.” Murphy acknowledged that he, Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur had met with Rodgers “on a number of occasions” during the offseason.

Gutekunst has indicated he doesn’t plan to trade Rodgers, who has three years remaining on his contract. LaFleur said after the draft that he “can’t fathom” Rodgers not being in Green Bay.

The Packers addressed their quarterback depth Thursday by signing Blake Bortles, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft.

Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett held the same position with Jacksonville during Bortles’ tenure as the Jaguars’ starting quarterback. Bortles spent the 2019 season and portions of 2020 with the Los Angeles Rams, who run a similar offense to Green Bay.

Until the Packers signed Bortles, the only quarterbacks on their roster were Rodgers and 2020 first-round draft pick Jordan Love. Tim Boyle, who backed up Rodgers last season, has since joined the Detroit Lions.

“You’re always going to have three if not four guys typically in an offseason program and in training camp,” LaFleur said. “(We liked) Blake’s familiarity with Hackett, with being in the Rams’ offense, with a lot of carryover in terminology and just his overall experience in this league. I mean this is a guy that started a lot of games and has had a lot of success.”

Two more quarterbacks — Kurt Benkert and Chad Kelly — were at the rookie minicamp Friday as tryout candidates.

Kelly appeared in one game in 2018 for the Denver Broncos, who selected him out of Mississippi with the final pick in the 2017 draft. Benkert signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia in 2018 but hasn’t played in an NFL game.

LaFleur was asked whether he’d have to go into offseason workouts preparing Love for the possibility of being the starter just in case the Rodgers’ situation doesn’t get rectified. Love didn’t play a single down during his rookie year as the Packers went 13-3 and lost in the NFC championship game for a second straight season.

“I’m not going to make any assumptions about anything at this point,” LaFleur said. “We’re just going to take it day by day. But I think every player on our roster has got to have the mentality that they’re going to be the guy. If not, when you do get your opportunity, you will not be prepared for it. So that is always what we stress to every player on this football team.

“In football, unfortunately there’s some uncontrolled circumstances that can happen, and you might be one play away from getting your opportunity. And in this league, you might only get one opportunity, so you better prepared for that.”

Sports

Kingsley Suamtaia, BYU Football, Fall Camp...
Dallen Graff

Kingsley Suamataia’s ‘Freakish Athleticism’ Standing Out At BYU Camp

BYU offensive lineman Kingsley Suamataia makes an early impression at BYU fall camp as position battles along the offensive line continue.
22 hours ago
BYU Football, Utah Fans...
Mitch Harper

BYU, Utah Placed In Tournament To Decide College Football’s Best Fan Base

Will either BYU or Utah win the title of best college football fan base?
22 hours ago
Tony Finau - Face - Rocket Mortgage Classic - practice round...
Tom Hackett

Tony Finau Drops Wife’s Phone In Pool While Dancing, Focus Now Turns To FedEx Cup Playoffs

Tony Finau dropped his wife's phone in the swimming pool while dancing at his daughter's birthday party during a recent trip to Utah.
22 hours ago
Jordan Clarkson - Utah Jazz...
Ben Anderson

Report: Jordan Clarkson Will Play For Philippines At World Cup Qualifiers

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson will play for the Philippines at the World Cup Qualifiers according to a report from Sportlando. 
22 hours ago
Brant Kuithe - Utah Utes vs. USC...
Trevor Allen

Four Players From State Of Utah Named To Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watchlist

Four players with ties to the state of Utah were named to the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award watchlist that was announced on Tuesday.
22 hours ago
Serena Williams - Volleys - Australian Open...
Howard Fendrich, AP

Serena Williams Says ‘Countdown Has Begun’ To Retirement

Serena Williams announced Tuesday she is ready to step away from tennis so she can focus on having another child and her business interests.
22 hours ago
LaFleur On Rodgers: ‘We Want Him Back In The Worst Way’