Packers: HC Matt LaFleur confirms DC Mike Pettine will be retained

Mike Pettine is sticking around.

New Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur confirmed earlier reports that Pettine would be retained as defensive coordinator.

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“I had a chance to sit down with him yesterday and really go through a lot of different things,” LaFleur told Adam Schein on Mad Dog Sports Radio on Friday. “I think we share a common vision. I’m really excited to see this defense take off in year two of his system.”

Pettine was brought in by former coach Mike McCarthy prior to last season. Though the team allowed more yards and points than in 2017, there were fewer communication problems and blown assignments. That was despite the defense being devastated by injuries, with six projected starters ending the season on injured reserve and another being traded.

LaFleur’s decision wasn’t solely based on having continuity on that side of the ball. He also pointed to Pettine’s history as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns for two seasons.

“The thing that’s so attractive about Mike, to me, was here’s a guy that’s been a head coach in the National Football League,” said LaFleur, who hasn’t been a head coach before. It’s going to be somebody that I can lean on because there’s going to be circumstances that come up that maybe I haven’t been through. [I’m] really excited to have Mike as part of our staff.”

With Pettine back, it likely means several defensive assistants could be staying as well.

As for the other side of the ball, former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was in Green Bay to interview for that same position, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

LaFleur is also expected to interview Todd Monken for the job, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. He was most recently with Tampa Bay Buccaneers and actually was one of the 10 candidates interviewed for the Packers head coaching job.

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