The Packers have identified Mike Pettine‘s defensive coordinator successor. They intend to hire Joe Barry, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
This will continue a busy offseason for Barry, who made a previous move in going from the Rams to the Chargers. Barry spent four seasons with the Rams, coaching with Matt LaFleur in 2017, but agreed to follow Brandon Staley to the Chargers last month. Those plans are changing.
After Jim Leonhard indicated he will stay on as Wisconsin’s DC, the Packers job came down to Barry and Rams safeties coach Ejiro Evero, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets. It appears Leonhard was the favorite for the position, Silverstein adds (on Twitter), with Barry and Evero being the top backup options. Both were Rams staffers from 2017-20, with Evero still on Sean McVay‘s staff. Barry previously agreed to bolt with Staley and become the Chargers’ defensive passing-game coordinator.
Barry brings defensive coordinator experience to Green Bay, but his previous units mostly struggled. Barry worked as the Lions’ DC from 2007-08. Both seasons ended with Detroit’s defense ranking last in points and yards allowed, with the second ignominiously concluding with an 0-16 record. Barry resurfaced as a coordinator in Washington from 2015-16. While both those defenses landed just inside the top 20 in points allowed, each ranked 28th in total defense.
The Rams interviewed Barry for their DC post last year, but Staley wound up landing the job. Barry will be tasked with elevating a Packers defense that has come up short in big spots in the past two postseasons.