Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur – Postgame Press Conference

(opening statement)
“I just wanted to start out and say how appreciative we are of the fans that showed up tonight. That definitely made a big difference. I think our guys really fed off their energy. Just really proud of our players, our coaches, just the work that we all put in. Our guys went out there with the mentality that we were going to be physical and I think that showed through, really in all three phases. Obviously, we’ll enjoy it tonight, but we know that we’re going to have a really tough opponent coming into our place for the NFC Championship game. ”

(on Aaron Jones’ 60-yard run in the third quarter?)
“I don’t know if you’re anticipating a run going for 60 yards, but it was great, obviously. It was well blocked. Aaron Rodgers made a great decision on the play to not throw the run alert, to give it to Aaron Jones. You know, he’s a special back. And when he gets loose, he can make people miss and he’s got great speed. Certainly that definitely helped to kind of keep us going in the second half.”

(on what this game and this season has said about the backs, tight ends, and receivers)
“We’ve got a lot of great players on our roster and you know our guys have gotten better and better. That’s a credit to the work they’ve put in. I think our coaches do a great job with them as well. Although our guys maybe didn’t get the respect they deserved from the media, we know what we had, in terms of the players that we had on our roster. Those guys, like I said, they’ve embraced the challenge. And they’ve gotten better. And they’ve gone out and done it. It all starts with their approach and how they prepare. Guys came in great shape. It’s a special group.”

(on the play to Allen Lazard after a drop earlier)
“Well, we were kind of running the same play over and over out of that formation and we just felt like we were going to have a chance at the play-action pass off of it. We didn’t get the coverage we were really looking for the first time that we attempted the pass. They ended up rolling to a single-high look when we were really trying to call that play for more of a quarters coverage where the safety triggers and you go in there like you’re going to block that safety and you run right by them. What a great ball, great catch by Allen. Big time play in a big moment.”

(on the pass rush in the second half)
“They were relentless all game. I know we weren’t always getting pressure on Jared (Goff). I thought LA, give them credit. Got a lot of respect, obviously I know those guys very, very well. They did a good job of having plays that got the ball out of his hands quickly and then their receivers made some plays, their back made a lot of plays. But our guys stayed resilient up front, and kept giving great energy, great effort. And that’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take that consistent effort, play in and play out, from all 11 guys that are on the field. That’s one thing that I think has really shown through really the last half of the season, is just the intensity level. It all starts with the preparation. I feel like it shows up in practice and it’s not a surprise that it translates and it shows up in the game.”

(on the offensive line and the way the running backs wouldn’t go down after the first contact and Mason Crosby’s injury)
“Our O-line really answered the bell, man. That’s a really good front, and a really good scheme and our guys did it both in the run game and the pass game. There’s been so many games, I was looking at the entirety of their season over the course of the year there’s been multiple games where they’ve had four-plus sacks. I want to say it was in half of the games. For us to keep our quarterback clean, that was huge. And then to compound that and do it in the run game and our backs mentality is unbelievable. All three of those guys, we feel like we’ve got three number ones, and no matter who is in there, they’re going to produce and that’s a luxury to have. As far as Mason’s (Crosby) shoulder is concerned, it showed a lot of grit and toughness to come back in the game. I know he’s not 100 percent, but he came through and delivered big for us.”

(on how much he has put on the plate of the offensive line)
“Every week we start off with the same approach and that is, you’ve got to keep a defense off balance. The way you do that is you’ve got to have the ability to run the football. Although it may not always be pretty, I think our guys do a hell of a job. Just a great group of men. They’re professionals, they care about one another, they care about this team. Just a very, very special group. I said it earlier in the postgame with Larry (McCarren), just what a great job Adam Stenavich and Luke Butkus do with that group and then those guys take it upon themselves to come out and produce at a high level, week in and week out and we’re going to need more of that moving forward because whoever we play next week, two great defenses, and we’ve seen them both. It’s going to be a great challenge for us and a great challenge for this football team. We’ll enjoy this tonight but we’ll be ready to move on tomorrow night when we find out who we’re playing.”

(on what kind of confidence this gives his team)
“Yeah, not only against a great opponent, but it definitely felt more like, I don’t want to say a real game, but just the amount of fans in the stands, it definitely added a whole new level of energy out there. It was great to be back out there with all the people in the stands and hopefully we can get more in here next week. But our guys are consistent and you know, we’re going to have to get ready to battle next week, too. We’re going to need a great week of preparation and we’ll be ready to go next week.”

(on if he was watching film of the opponent this morning)
“No, it’s always against the opponent. One of the nice things about being at home is you can get here early and you know, watch more tape and kind of get your mind right to go out there and call a game. Ultimately, it comes down to our players though, going out there and executing whatever is called. I loved just the physicality that our group brought, not only on offense, but on defense and special teams as well. Obviously, it’s never perfect. There’s a lot of things to clean up, but I thought our guys mentality was spot on. I thought it was like that all week long, just the energy level. I think as a coach sometimes, specifically as an offensive coach going into this game, I probably had a lot more anxiety than our players in terms of going against a defense that throws some unique looks at you. Our players never flinched and they went out there and executed at a high level.”

(on the theme of your long hug with Aaron Rodgers and talking with him before the game as shown on TV and on what did you find out about your team after missing out on an initial knockout blow as the Rams rallied and how your guys responded after that)
“As far as the pregame stuff, there’s a lot of stuff that’s said. But basically I said, ‘Hey, man, whatever you see out there, understand that I totally trust you…you’re the guy in charge out there, so whatever you see, go with it.’ He does such a great job every week of going out and knowing the game plan inside and out, knowing what everybody is supposed to do, getting us in the right looks, and then going out there and executing. It just shows a resiliency when things don’t go your way…it’s never perfect in the National Football League. I think everybody realizes that and understands that. There’s going to be moments where whoever you’re playing is going to have some great plays, and that’s especially true in playoff football when everybody’s really good. I mean, you’re playing the best of the best at this point. So you better be resilient and you better have an ability to move on to the next play, whether you make the play or whether you miss a play. I think that’s been the message, and our guys really take to that, they’ve just got great resiliency and an ability to move on and respond to both good and bad situations.”

(on how frustrated were you with the touchdown allowed to the Rams late in the first half and did you say anything to your defensive coordinator at halftime)
“No, I mean…I would say that happens quite a bit in this league in terms of two-minute defense. You’re trying not to give up a big shot, certainly. I’ll go back and watch the tape and see where we can improve. Obviously, you never want to give up a touchdown in that situation, especially when you’re up, and it just kind of shifts the momentum, so to speak. But I thought our guys, for the most part, it was a pretty solid game. Anytime you hold an opponent to two-for-eight on third down, 244 yards, you keep ‘em under 20 points, I feel pretty good about our chances. Although that drive wasn’t good, I thought by and large, for the most part, our defense played pretty solid tonight.”

(on Kenny Clark’s big sack for shifting momentum after the Rams were down just a score and then to widen the gap after that)
“That was definitely a critical point in the game. Anytime it’s a one-possession game, which the majority of games in the National Football League come down to the wire. It’s just the competiveness and the balance across the league with every team. There’s going to be great players on both sides of the ball. There’s a lot of great coaching, I want to say, in this league. So games are going to be competitive, and we understand that. That’s why it’s always got to be a four-quarter mentality. You can never get too high and never too low because I think we’ve all been on the other side of things when you’ve been up by a lot and find a way and it doesn’t turn out the way you want, or where you’ve been down and battled back. So it’s that resiliency and that mindset that we need to have every game, and it’s got to be move on to the next play. I do think when times get tough in this league, as a coach, as a player, you’ve just got to focus on doing your job to the best of your ability and rely on the guy next to you doing the same thing and having the same mindset. That’s why I’m so proud about our guys. They’ve really taken that to heart. They’ve taken getting challenged to heart. I think there’s just so much more energy. I think the effort has been there, and it’s gotten better and better as the season has progressed. Again, just really happy for these guys.”

(on accomplishing the feat of 484 total yards in a playoff game against the league’s No. 1-ranked defense while getting so many players involved, run and pass)
“That’s a total credit to our players and their ability to go out there and compete on a big stage and just going out there and executing against the best defense in the National Football League. I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys, a lot of love for a lot of those coaches over there that I know personally, a lot of those players that I know personally. It was just a great team win tonight.”

(on whether the two-point conversion attempt was based off Mason Crosby’s injury or trying to get up by three scores)
“Yeah, it was the mindset to try to get up and make it a three-score game. Obviously, it was not a good play call for the situation. That’s one…there’s always a few plays you’d like to have back, and that is definitely one I would like to have back.”

(on the plan today with running the football and attacking the line of scrimmage to set the tone)

“It’s all about playing complementary football, and I think anytime you have the ability to run the football, the defense has to honor that. And I think that’s why some of these plays that come open, like the touchdown pass to Allen Lazard, why that even makes it feasible is maybe because we lined up in the same formation multiple times and we’re running the ball pretty well, our guys, our receivers are doing a hell of a job getting in the mix of digging out safeties, and then you get the safety to suck up and then you can go up over the top and create a huge play. A big, explosive play for a touchdown. So that’s just the philosophy, and we’ll continue with that. It still comes down to the execution of our players, and they did a hell of a job tonight.”