Keeping Pettine Should Be a No-Brainer for LaFleur

Three coordinators in three years is not an ideal outlook for the Green Bay Packers defense. Though Matt LaFleur revealed during his introductory press conference he hadn’t met with Mike Pettine directly, he is expected to remain on as the Packers defensive coordinator in 2019. As we learn more, it is becoming clear that one of the main reasons Mark Murphy and Brian Gutekunst were drawn to LaFleur was his willingness to retain Pettine and some of his staff.

Per Rob Demovsky of ESPN, Pettine has agreed to remain in Green Bay after originally being hired by former head coach Mike McCarthy last January. This should come as a sigh of relief for fans and players who saw a lot of progress from the Packers defense in 2018.

While they didn’t stand out in the rankings, finishing 18th in total yards and 22nd in points allowed, a defense that mostly consists of young developing players will benefit from not having to learn a new scheme this offseason. These numbers don’t tell the whole story, though, as there were a number of injuries to key players including linebacker Jake Ryan, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, and cornerback Kevin King. And to Pettine’s credit, Green Bay finished eighth in sacks without a Pro-Bowl edge rusher.

It sounds like Pettine won’t be the only member of the defensive coaching staff sticking around for at least another year either.

Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery is among those expected to remain under Pettine as a result of the success his group had this past season. The productivity from Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, Dean Lowry, Montravius Adams, and even undrafted free agent Tyler Lancaster was a good endorsement for Montgomery’s coaching ability.

More than likely, Pettine will consider vouching for defensive pass game coordinator Joe Whitt Jr who has been with the organization since 2008 and has become a locker room favorite.

And while Pettine is tasked with building a stronger defense, LaFleur will take hold of an offense that is expected to take on an entirely new persona next season. Pettine’s previous head coaching experience should allow LaFleur to take a hands-off approach on that side of the ball while he develops a scheme that maximizes the potential of his playmakers within the offense.

LaFleur will also be busy building a relationship and getting on the same page as 14-year veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers who has only been a part of one offensive system (McCarthy’s) outside of his rookie season under Mike Sherman.

Not many candidates could have competed with Pettine’s credentials so it’s probably the right call he stays put.


Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.



3 thoughts on “Keeping Pettine Should Be a No-Brainer for LaFleur

  1. I’m not entirely sold on Joe Whitt Jr.. This franchise has spent a lot of draft value on defensive backs with little return over this guys tenure, and that group isn’t necessarily that productive, they don’t take the ball away, and their tackling has been less than a value add.

  2. I’m not totally sold on Pettine yet like most are. Yes, he had injuries, so did Capers! So difference this year? Stats a little better, but not much. Give him another year, but the injury excuse is old and given every year for the defense!

  3. Defense? Pettine? I liked the hire over Capers, but I’m back to earth now after watching. Pettine had injuries, the norm for us, but so did boring Dom. Pettine had high draft picks, yet they ranked near gutter level in interceptions and turnovers. I can tell you why since 2010: ZERO QB PRESSURE! No rush pressure, very few turnovers. Simple, isnt it. Us fans all see this, but the Packers can’t fix it!!

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