The Green Bay Packers will not be the same team in 2024 as they were in 2023. This past season saw the Packers struggles mightily at times, yet improve enough as the season went on to make the NFL Playoffs despite having the youngest roster in the league. Indeed, this year’s team far exceeded expectations, even those they had for themselves.
Next year will be different, though. Being young and inexperienced will no longer be acceptable excuses for mistakes. In his end-of-the-year press conference today, head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters that his message to the players was that their expectations for next season will be much loftier than this year’s.
Having tasted the playoffs in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, the Packers expect to be perennial contenders once again.
Of course, next year’s team will also look different than this year’s team. There are a number of players that are hitting free agency and may not return. Some may be too expensive for the Packers, others may be allowed to walk in favor of a new draft pick.
One impending free agent, though, has LaFleur’s endorsement for a return to Green Bay: running back AJ Dillon.
Matt LaFleur Wants AJ Dillon Back with the Green Bay Packers Next Year
During his media availability, LaFleur was asked about a variety of topics, some of which he chose to avoid. For example, he would not answer any questions regarding Joe Barry’s future with the team, but excitedly stated that he would “love” for quarterbacks coach Tom Clements to return.
LaFleur was also asked about the futures of some of his players, perhaps the most notable of which is left tackle David Bakhtiari.
Of his current situation with the team, LaFleur stated that “all things are on the table.” He would not, therefore, rule out the possibility of Bakhtiari starting at left tackle for Green Bay again next year.
One other player that he was asked about, AJ Dillon, is one whose future is not certain among fans. After a down year that saw him average a career-worst 3.4 yards per carry, many believe that the Packers will let him go in free agency.
LaFleur, however, wants him back:
LIVE: Head Coach Matt LaFleur meets with the media on Monday. ️ https://t.co/psD1N6TbRp
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 22, 2024
“He’s been a great member of our team… You could really see his value every year towards the end of the season… I told him, shoot, I’d love to have him back here.”
The question is whether or not the front office will feel the same way.