It’s time for Joe Barry and the Packers to part ways.
In fact, it was time after the end of last season. The fact that Barry will likely survive until the end of the season – and that it’s still not a guarantee he’ll be fired even then – is telling of the Packers’ stubbornness.
After the Buccaneers’ Baker Mayfield became the first visiting QB in the history of Lambeau Field to finish with a perfect passer rating, the writing is on the wall. Packers’ fans are more infuriated than ever that Barry has been allowed to run his defense in Green Bay for this long.
No one would have blamed the Packers for getting rid of him immediately after that contest. Yet, it appears Barry will be granted the opportunity to finish out the 2023 campaign.
I write this not out of desire to keep going on and on repeating the same narratives you’ve seen and will undoubtedly continue to see throughout the week about Barry and the Packers’ defense, but more so out of a feeling of obligation to contribute to the general discourse. I can’t remember the last time a Packers’ staff member deserved this much backlash. I don’t like to call for another man’s job, but enough is enough.
Matt LaFleur and the Packers’ baffling continued support of Barry is concerning. For the future of the team’s sake, Packer fans are best off rooting for the defense to continue to look appallingly horrific these last few weeks of the season. Solid defensive performances sprinkled throughout the end of the season only increase the chances that Green Bay somehow decides Barry deserves yet another shot as the coordinator next year.
The 34-20 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday may have put the nail in the coffin in terms of the Packers’ playoff hopes. Missing the playoffs isn’t the biggest issue here. Green Bay were never expected to make noise in the postseason in the first place. The looming issue remains that, with a defense filled with so much investment, so many first-round picks and young talented players, the defensive coordinator has consistently for years made them look like one of the absolute worst units in the NFL.
The Packers have never been an above-average defense under Barry, nor has he ever coached such a unit before landing in Green Bay. Packer fans used to clamor this way over firing Dom Capers. At least Capers had a resume with some prior success. Barry was infamously the coordinator of the 0-16 Detroit Lions back in 2008, and doesn’t have a whole lot better on his resume.
The Packers are the 4th worst defense in the NFL by DVOA. Last season they were below average, and easily a top 3 worst run defense in the league, a trend that has carried over to this season. Bright spots in the Joe Barry defense have been few and far between since he took over in 2021.
That’s about it. Piling on statistical evidence on how bad the Packers’ defense is would just be redundant at this point. I said it last year. I said it after Week 2. Joe Barry needs to go. Don’t fire him midseason, fine. Whatever. But if he isn’t gone after the season, you can bet the fanbase is going to raise hell.——————