With Matt LaFleur on the look for a new Packers defensive coordinator in Green Bay after not bringing back Mike Pettine, this was going to be his most important addition during his tenure as the Packers’ head coach. 

Current University of Wisconsin DC Jim Leonhard seemed to be the lead dog for LaFleur in his hunt, but after considering all involved elements Leonhard decided to remain at his alma mater, leaving LaFleur with a key decision of who to go to next.

Enter in Joe Barry. 

Barry, who has connections with Sean McVay and subsequently LaFleur dating back to the days when all three were on the Rams in different capacities, has a questionable history leading defenses, but comes from a solid line of coaching staffs (Chuck Pagano, Wade Phillips, Brandon Staley, etc.) that probably helped lead LaFleur to have him next on his list.

He had just joined Staley, who just was hired on as the HC for the Chargers, as their linebackers coach and defensive passing game coordinator, but will be getting his third crack at running a defense.

Barry will be bringing a 3-4 scheme to Green Bay, based on how he ran defenses while in Washington, and he will be bringing any sort of number of variables from his time on the Rams. A position that should take on more importance for the GB defensive unit moving forward under Barry is their linebackers, which he has coached at multiple stops around the league.

The Rams’ defense was most successful when they were able to develop a hybrid LB, like Cory Littleton, into a bonafide coverage/run-stopping option while also helping lead the defense. Unfortunately for Green Bay, that kind of stud LB is not currently on the roster, which could lead to them being an early suitor for a ‘backer in the upcoming draft.

Tons more information will pour in over the course of the offseason, including how the team and front office handles both its free agent moves and draft selections. But what can be known at this point about Barry is that a familiar 3-4 scheme will be implemented moving forward, which will prove that this team will need to add to their LB and secondary ranks.


Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23