Green Bay Packers

Could Christian Parker Be Green Bay’s Next Defensive Coordinator?

Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have reportedly offered Denver Broncos defensive back coach Christian Parker, 32, the defensive coordinator job.

Parker has been the youngest coach Green Bay has interviewed for the opening alongside former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley (41), Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde (44), and Buffalo Bills linebackers coach Bobby Babich (40). Parker is a unique candidate, and it would be a bold move if the Packers do hire him. Let’s dive into his background.

He would find himself in familiar territory in Green Bay. He broke into NFL coaching with the Packers for two seasons (2019-20) as a defensive quality-control coach. Before his first stint in Green Bay, Parker spent six years coaching in college. Considered a rising talent, Parker left Green Bay after the Packers fired Mike Pettine after the 2020 season.

Parker latched on with the Broncos as a defensive backs coach and survived three head coaching changes (Vic Fangio, Nathaniel Hackett, and Sean Payton) in Denver. Surviving during significant changes at the top of a coaching staff is always a solid indicator that a coach shows some promise. Parker’s transience has also exposed him to multiple different defensive schemes.

He has done an excellent job of getting the most out of his players, getting All-Pro efforts out of Patrick Surtain (All-Pro ‘21, ‘22) and Justin Simmons (‘22) with Denver and a Pro-Bowl effort from Jaire Alexander in 2020. Parker has a reputation as a collaborative coach who understands how to communicate both with fellow coaches and his players. In the clip below, Parker has clear intent behind his communication but also works to communicate in the most efficient way possible so that they can play fast and free.

Parker was on Green Bay’s staff with current defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti, defensive backs coach Ryan Downard, and defensive quality-control coach Wendel Davis in 2020. In the past, the Packers have looked to keep some continuity in coaching staff transitions, which may be the case if Green Bay hires Parker. When they hired Joe Barry in 2021, he kept the entire defensive staff the same. When Pettine came on in 2018, he retained four coaches from Dom Capers’ staff. Provided everyone has solid relationships, those four coaches could help ease the transition.

Parker was a part of the NFL’s Coach Accelerator program in 2021. The program “aims to increase exposure between owners, executives, and diverse coaching talent, providing ample opportunity to develop and build upon their relationships.” In many ways, cross-exposure is excellent for young coaches like Parker. It allows them to share expertise and build a broader network of relationships that could come in handy when building out a defensive staff.

“I think all in all, they do a good job with the program of just being very versatile in their approach,” Parker said of the program. “No topic is too small in terms of how they’re approaching that and what they’re trying to teach us in that regard.”

Parker also seems to be a great teacher. In this mic’ed-up clip, Parker seems to run a practice session well with his team by checking in on players, noting coaching points, and giving constant feedback.

Players seem to love playing for Parker as well. “He’s smart,” Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said of Parker. “He works his butt off, and his players love playing for him. He’s a star.”

For a young team like the Packers, it’s easy to see why Parker would be a solid fit. It could also be a beneficial landing spot for Parker. Green Bay has set a low defensive bar recently, but the team has plenty of potential. Parker hasn’t been shy about saying he wants to be an NFL head coach one day. If he lands the Green Bay defensive coordinator job and succeeds, he may be on the fast track to that goal.

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Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

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