Packers announce hiring of Joe Barry as new defensive coordinator

The Green Bay Packers officially have their new defensive coordinator.

The coach Matt LaFleur announced Monday that he had hired Los Angels Chargers passing game coordinator Joe Barry. The 50-year-old just joined the Chargers after spending the last four years with the Los Angeles Rams as their assistant head coach/linebackers coach. LaFleur and Barry were on the same coaching staff with the Rams in 2017 when LaFleur was the offensive coordinator.

Barry does have coordinator experience, having run Washington’s 3-4 defense for two years prior to joining the Rams. The units were not particularly good as they finished 28th in yards allowed each season, while coming in 17th in points allowed in 2015 and 19th in 2016. Washington did have some success in creating turnovers, leading the league in forced fumbles in 2015. Barry was also the defensive coordinator for two years in Detroit, including in 2008 when the Lions went 0-16.

A native of Colorado, Barry will replace Mike Pettine, whose contract expired at the end of the 2020 season after three year. Green Bay’s defense wasn’t bad — it finished in the top 10 in total yards allowed and 13th in points allowed per game. But there were also some untimely breakdowns, most notably in the NFC title game when a miscommunication between LaFleur and Pettine led to a Tampa Bay touchdown.

The hiring of Barry came after Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard turned down LaFleur’s offer to come to Green Bay to run his defense. Rams safeties coach Ejiro Evero was also reportedly among the final candidates for the job.