Shanahan says relationship with Packers coach LaFleur solid originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The postgame “handshake” Week 3 at Levi’s Stadium was as icy as a mid-January night in Green Bay.
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday there is no feud between him and his longtime friend and co-worker, Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur.
“Matt’s my guy,” Shanahan said on Monday in a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “Matt and I are totally good.”
It did not look that way on Sept. 26, when Shanahan blew past LaFleur on the field just moments after Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal lifted Green Bay to a 30-28 victory over the 49ers.
The 49ers took the lead with just 37 seconds to play on Jimmy Garoppolo’s 12-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk. But Aaron Rodgers led the Packers 42 yards down the field to set up the winning points.
“I was pissed after that game because of how the game just ended,” Shanahan said. “That was a tough one. It took a while to get over. But we’re good. I talk to Matt a lot. (He’s) done a hell of a job this year — been real happy for him but that stops this week.”
The Packers earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC and home-field advantage. The 49ers’ 23-17 victory Sunday over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday set up a showdown with the Packers at Lambeau Field in the divisional round of the playoffs.
LaFleur and Shanahan first worked together in 2008. LaFleur served as an assistant coach when Shanahan was offensive coordinator in Houston, Washington and Atlanta.
In the lead-up to the game earlier this season, a report surfaced of a tense exchange on the day of the draft between New York Jets offensive coordinator and Matt’s younger brother, Mike LaFleur, and Shanahan.
NFL reporter Mike Silver reported that just prior to the beginning of the 2021 NFL Draft, 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel was on a video call with LaFleur and Jets head coach Robert Saleh when Shanahan walked into McDaniel’s office.
Shanahan cracked that he hoped the Jets did not make a surprise pick at quarterback with someone other than Zach Wilson.
Silver reported that Mike LaFleur responded, “What do you mean? You've already got your quarterback: Aaron Rodgers."
Earlier in the offseason, Shanahan called Matt LaFleur to see if the Packers were at all considering trading Rodgers. That conversation came to a quick conclusion.
After Mike LaFleur made the comment about Rodgers, Shanahan reportedly said, “Hey, tell your brother to call me back. He hasn't returned my calls.”
According to Silver, Mike LaFleur responded, “Can you blame him?”
All appears to be good again in the Shanahan-Matt LaFleur relationship — regardless of how Saturday’s game shakes out.