Green Bay, Wisc. (WJMN) – Green Bay Packers head coach, Matt LaFleur, met with the media Monday afternoon and although a majority of his press conference was focused on the Packer’s upcoming NFC Championship game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, LaFleur took some time to talk about Robert Saleh, whom LaFleur considers a close friend.
Saleh was recently hired as the next head coach for the New York Jets. Matt’s younger brother, Mike LaFleur, will be on the Jets coaching staff as an offensive coordinator.
“He called me when it was almost all sealed up and I was just ecstatic for him. It’s one of those moments that you’re always going to cherish when your so close with somebody and you know what they been through in terms of all the work,” said LaFleur.
LaFleur and Saleh’s relationship goes back to their days at Central Michigan early on in their respective coaching careers. Both also have a connection to Northern Michigan University. Saleh played tight end for the Wildcats from 1998-2002. LaFleur was a quarterback and receivers coach for NMU in 2006.
“We lived together for a year at Central Michigan. We kind of cut our teeth together and he taught me so much. We have great conversations about leadership and how to motivate your team.”
LaFleur talked about Saleh’s leadership and said he thinks he will do a great job turning around the situation in New York.
“He’s going to be genuine. He’s going to be true to himself. I think he’s a hell of a communicator. He cares about others. He’ll be that servant leader. There’s no question in my mind. You can see how hard his players in San Francisco, how hard that defense played for one another and with him leading the charge I think that speaks volumes regardless of what their circumstances were. When things weren’t going great for them, when they lost a lot of players, it didn’t matter, you knew they were going to give it their all,” said LaFleur.
LaFleur, who realized his dream of becoming a head coach two years ago when he became the Green Bay Packers head coach, said it’s a moment he will never forget.
“It’s going to hit home when he Lands in New York today how special of a moment it is for him and his family. People we have known for a really long time and who we are really close with. I couldn’t be happier for him and his family.”
And just how much has Saleh helped LaFleur become the coach he is today?
“I can tell you right now, I wouldn’t be standing where I am without Robert Saleh.”
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