Green Bay Packers

Ranking Joe Barry Replacement Options

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Keeping Joe Barry beyond the 2022 season would be football malpractice. I wouldn’t put it completely past Matt LaFleur, given how the Amari Rodgers situation went, but all signs point to Green Bay having a new defensive coordinator in 2022.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top options to replace the heavily criticized defensive coordinator.

Vic Fangio

Before becoming the Broncos head coach, Fangio made his mark in the league as a premier DC for the Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, and Chicago Bear.

What makes Fangio so interesting is his ability to disguise his coverages and force quarterbacks to process the post-snap. His work with the secondary is great, and is complemented by an elite ability to generate a pass rush. Though Fangio only brought an extra rusher around 20% of the time when he was with the Bears, he was still able to find creative ways to bring pressure.

If Fangio comes to the Packers, he will inherit a defense with Rashan Gary, who is cementing himself as one of the best in the business at chasing the qb. Such a talent would make it easy to improve things for Jaire Alexander, Rasul Douglas, and Eric Stokes, all of whom have been misused under Joe Barry.

Fangio already operates a 3-4 defense, so he will likely have most of the pieces he needs personnel-wise.

Brian Flores

Flores has been working for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach since leaving Miami.

Flores also employed a 3-4 during his time in Miami, but what is interesting is his sub-packages. In Nickel and Dime personnel, the Dolphins were extremely aggressive with 50% of those snaps in a cover 1 or cover 0 look.

Flores loves to stack the box against offensive linemen allowing for one pass rusher to come free. He constantly forces the quarterback to make a quick decision. His creativity on blitzes is incredible. You never know who’s coming on and who will bluff back into coverage.

The Dolphins’ defense improved each year of Flores’ tenure in Miami becoming one of the most aggressive groups in the NFL. If Flores comes to town, you would see an immediate change in aggression which would be welcome news to a fan base that is exhausted by Barry’s lack of aggressive nature.

Jim Leonhard

Newly available, Leonhard is a hometown hero. Having played high school and college ball in Wisconsin, and just having finished a stint as interim head coach of the Badgers, Leonhard would first and foremost bring an understanding of the state, team, and fan base.

Beyond that he’s a damn good football coach. Having played over a decade in the NFL before transitioning into coaching Leonhard has an incredible ability to develop and utilize talent. He’s a coach who understands today’s players, but respects an old-school mentality.

Two years ago Leonhard turned down Matt LaFleur. The opportunity to get this unit going in the right direction and help this team to a Super Bowl might be too good to turn down twice.

But Leonard will be in high demand. His Madison-based agent Tim Valentyne has said in the past “This is a rite of spring every year. There’s a laundry list of top-shelf college teams that come at him and he’s always really upfront, transparent, honest with them and with the university about the fact that, sure, he’s willing to listen and explore but it’s going to be a tough sell to get him out of here.”

Green Bay Packers
How the Packers Can Free Up $75 Million In Cap Space Without Cutting Anybody
By Wendell Ferreira - Feb 3, 2023
Green Bay Packers
Why Did the Packers Fail Where the Chiefs Succeeded?
By Matt Hendershott - Feb 3, 2023
Green Bay Packers

Evaluating Hypothetical Rodgers Trade Compensation

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue our third-annual plunge into speculation, reporting, and tantalizing sound bytes on The Pat McAfee Show, it’s getting less and less fun to talk about […]

Continue Reading