After their abysmal showing defensively in the NFC Championship game, most Packer fans knew that Mike Pettine was on his way out of Green Bay. What was uncertain was who would fill that void. The Packers went with former Ram’s Linebacker coach Joe Barry.
Barry brings a unique scheming strategy to Green Bay that the previous coordinators had been missing. That aspect being his history with innovative defenses. He worked with Monte Kiffin in the “Tampa 2” defense, and has developed some fantastic linebackers during his time with multiple NFL franchises.
Joe Barry worked with Cory Littleton in LA, Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith in Washington, and Derrick Brooks in Tampa. All of these players were Pro Bowlers during their time together. Now that he has multiple high caliber edge rushers, he should be able to utilize them well, and often.
This fit makes a lot of sense for what the Packers are trying to accomplish here in Green Bay. They are still in serious contention in the NFC, and seem to be just one step away on the defensive side of the football. Joe Barry brings what many thought Mike Pettine was lacking, and that is a consistent pass rush to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Green Bay has the weapons in the Smith Bros and Kenny Clark, but their production went down this past season.
Last season, the Rams had 53 sacks as a team during the regular season while Green Bay had only 41. They did this in L.A. without taking more players out of coverage than needed. If Barry can continue to do this here with the Packers, Brian Gutekunst can focus on finding Kevin King’s replacement. Then he does not have to worry about finding more pass rushers.
If the GM can find a steady replacement for King, and Joe Barry can revamp the pass rush without sacrificing help in the secondary, the Green Bay Packers are sure fired to be a major threat for this upcoming season. Especially with Rodgers remaining at the helm.——————
Kaleb is currently attending UW Green Bay pursuing an English degree. His lifelong goal is to one day work for ESPN. You can follow him on twitter at @kaleb_baumgart.