Packers Introduce Joe Barry

The Packers introduced Joe Barry as the new defensive coordinator on Tuesday.  

The Joe Barry hire was met with a lot of chagrin. Some of it was justified. Hiring a defensive coordinator that once lost every single game in a season doesn’t exactly exude confidence. The Green Bay Packers don’t believe Barry’s past will follow him. On Tuesday, they finally introduced him as the new leader of the defense, and when he got asked about his previous failures as a defensive coordinator, Barry didn’t gloss over past struggles.

“I’m really proud of my scars,” he said. “I think that in life, you’re hardened by tough experiences.”

“I think when true growth takes place, I think it’s when things are really, really hard.”

Barry was of course referring to his previous two stints as defensive coordinator in Detroit and Washington. In Detroit, his defense ranked dead last in yards allowed in consecutive years. His second opportunity wasn’t much better. Obviously, Barry is now in a much better situation.

That is a big reason why Matt LaFleur is hopeful Barry can get it right this time. LaFleur interviewed nine candidates before the hire, and, according to Barry, the interview process was extremely detailed. His first interview via zoom lasted about five hours. Their second conversation lasted six hours. Their subsequent conversations over the phone totaled somewhere around three more hours.

Eventually, LaFleur decided to go with Barry.

When Barry spoke to the media yesterday, it was easier to understand LaFleur’s decision. Barry was personable, honest, humbled, and appeared to be a man of integrity. Will all of this translate to a good defense on the football field? No one knows, but it’s a good start. 

What we do know is Barry has been in the NFL for over 20 years. Barry began his career in coaching, cutting his teeth around guys like Tony Dungy, Jon Gruden, and Rod Marinelli. Most recently, he worked under Brandon Staley, who was just hired to be the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my career to be around a lot of incredible coaches,” said Barry.

Barry is now reunited with one of the best head coaches in football. He and LaFleur crossed paths in 2017 when the two were with the Los Angeles Rams. Perhaps, Barry can draw from past experiences to help a defense that just appeared in back-to-back NFC Championships get over the hump.

At the very least, it sounds like the old days of passive calls from Mike Pettine are a thing of the past.

 "We're going to play fast and furious,” said Barry.

LaFleur echoed that by stating, “A lot of consistency on early downs, and then we’ll spice it up on third downs.”

Right now, there’s no way of knowing what this defense will look like in September. While some things will change, others will remain the same in Green Bay. According to Barry, the defense will continue to be based around a 3-4 scheme. Of course, base defense today is mostly nickel and dime, but it’s important to note the Packers will maintain certain principles.

Of course, all that really matters is winning. Green Bay has a good nucleus of defensive talent in Kenny Clark, Jaire Alexander, Za’Darius Smith, Darnell Savage, and Adrian Amos. It’s been proven that this defense is capable of winning a Super Bowl.

Now it’s up to Barry to help deliver the goods.

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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4 points

Comments (28)

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stockholder's picture

March 03, 2021 at 12:42 pm

Joe Barry was a good hire. After all; our Lbs were rated near the bottom last year. ( But why? The 3-4-4.) The DL was just as bad the year before. I get the persuasive thinking game by Gute. But who's he really fooling? Replacing King is now his top priority. And with Murphys Ties to Northwestern. The front runner is Newsome. The best cover CB in the draft? And if Gute doesn't Re-work Adams. Expect a WR rd. 2. I hated Last years Draft. I hate that Barry is the new yes man. I was ready for change. Yet the only thing Gute has on his mind is making sure Love can replace Rodgers. They say Actions speak louder then words. Gute is leaving it up to the players to bail him out of this cap mess. Point: If you don't care about your team-mate, I don't either. Work with me or else. The Packers Defense has a reputation. Its been Piss Poor. I doubt Barry can break it. He must play the hand he's dealt. I sure hope he has a few cards up his sleeve. Because Gute isn't going to HELP Fix the defense with his drafting.

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CoachDino's picture

March 04, 2021 at 05:42 pm

9 times out of 10 when contracts are restructured with good players, the player benefits. So I don't get the point on asking the players to bail him out. The bad ones restructure so they don't get cut. As we saw with Watt, the Market Value sets decisions in this league, not loyalty or even ring chasing. Brady is the only one that comes to mind. It's a good thing. In my experience, , the toughest negotiations are ones where one party has no clue as to their true value. The Market sets it, (Though GM's have made some bad decisions to save their jobs).

The packers defense hasn't been piss poor for years. Pettine and Gute turned it around. Not my opinion but the numbers.

They are going to extend Addams not rework it, though maybe it's symantics. DA is going to get paid.

I do agree with replacing King, it wasn't the Dline or ILB that had the major negative impact. It was King and Chandon on defense. The D played fine less them.

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Guam's picture

March 03, 2021 at 01:48 pm

I am very much in the wait and see category about Barry. His prior two stints as DC plus the fact that the Rams did not promote him to DC when Staley left (nor did Staley hire him as DC for the Chargers) is concerning. What is MLF seeing that the Rams and Chargers did not see? I hope for the best, but am a bit skeptical.

12 points
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Razer's picture

March 03, 2021 at 03:26 pm

Right there with you Guam. I also hope that Gutekunst gets him some more talent, particularly on the D-line.

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NitschkeFan's picture

March 03, 2021 at 04:39 pm

Also agree with you Guam. I wasn't too impressed with his verbose answers. But he did appear to say he has learned from the past. I hope that is true and that has made him a better DC. Most of us do learn from past failures so there is at least that hope.

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JQ's picture

March 04, 2021 at 07:37 am

I wasn't impressed. LOTS of words and glittering generalities, but I didn't think he said anything of substance.
I understand he's only been here a short time, but 2 weeks is plenty of days to study film so you can offer something informational when you're at the podium the first time.
That written, it's reasonable to wait and see how his defense looks in real time. Then we'll know if he's actually learned from his previous challenges.

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Minniman's picture

March 03, 2021 at 02:21 pm

Sworn in today.

...... Potentially Sworn At tomorrow! :)

Welcome to the Packers Mr Barry, I hope you have a thick skin....... and preferentially.... an innovative and creative mind!

8 points
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egbertsouse's picture

March 03, 2021 at 02:27 pm

Well, he can sure blah, blah, blah. We’ll see if he can coach,

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Fabio's picture

March 03, 2021 at 02:49 pm

Preston Smith's confirmation puts a stone on my hopes of going to SB .... once again .... Absolute disappointment .... and confirms that this season too nothing will change in defense
Greetings from Italy
GPG over everything and everyone

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TarynsEyes's picture

March 03, 2021 at 03:41 pm

"GPG over everything and everyone"

Fabio
Seriously?
It's a game.
And one which you have no control.
The Packers define your life and all that implies?
Yikes!

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Fabio's picture

March 03, 2021 at 03:52 pm

Hi Taryn. I know it's a game ... but that's a way of saying we have in Italy to say that faith never collapses (even when you know you won't win an SB as in the case of Green Bay)
So football doesn't define me at all, but if you love a team you also love it in defeats and even when you know it won't win.
By the way .... I was wondering what moves do you think Green Bay should make to improve this year (FA acquisition, Releases, Extensions, draft ....)
Your thought interests me
A greeting to you soon

2 points
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TarynsEyes's picture

March 03, 2021 at 05:49 pm

Cut the dead weight, do not restructure Rodgers contract, be smarter in the draft, do not tag Jones, coach draftees up faster by eliminating as many 3-4 projects as possible.

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Fabio's picture

March 04, 2021 at 07:38 am

I largely agree with what you think ..... I just have doubts about the Rodgers extension. I don't think it's good, but I think it's one of the few ways to have the freedom to be able to acquire some FA and above all I still don't know much about what JL can be. (I admit his salary is holding us back)
Greetings from Italy
GPG (smile)

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PatrickGB's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:11 am

Lighten up Frances ;-)

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Lphill's picture

March 03, 2021 at 02:55 pm

Jerry Gray should have gotten the job he has a better resume than Barry plus he's black it would have been a nice career move for him , Barry 20 years and not many accolades .

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murf7777's picture

March 03, 2021 at 03:28 pm

I look at the bright side of things. Sure, he could fail but he also could be what we need. Someone that will hold players responsible for tackling, pursuing aggressively, creating turnovers and Constantly pressuring the quarterback. I believe he will be running a more aggressive one gap penetrating DL.

Let’s face it coaches in the NFL don’t normally get two chances much less three unless you really have your act together. In Washington, his D was better than the D there before he arrived and after he left. In addition, I agree you learn more through adversity than success. Lastly, he never has had the talent that Packers possess. So, give the guy a break.

3 points
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flackcatcher's picture

March 03, 2021 at 04:24 pm

NO NEVER NEVER NEVER!!! (heh heh heh heh heh.... :-)

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flackcatcher's picture

March 03, 2021 at 04:41 pm

Brandon Carwile puts a nice sheen on the Barry hire. I wish the guy well, but his track record as a DC is not good. In his defense, the stink of bad teams stays longer no matter what you do after. But he did have good personnel in Washington, and those defensives fell apart pretty quickly under his tenure. With the Packers starting the hiring process late, the pool was fairly small from the start. And let's not forget that Lafleur's prefer hire could not be lured away from Wisconsin. Barry was the last man standing. Not exactly the way to hire, the second most important position on the Packers coaching staff.

4 points
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Philarod's picture

March 04, 2021 at 03:45 am

"It’s been proven that this defense is capable of winning a Super Bowl."

Wait...what?!

4 points
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Since'61's picture

March 04, 2021 at 08:35 am

My thoughts exactly Philarod! They were blown off the field by SF in 2019 NFCCG and then King gave the game away by getting beat twice on 2 long passes. Not to mention the pass rush which was missing for most of the game against the Bucs in the 2020 NFCCG.

Maybe I missed it and we're claiming that we didn't lose to the Bucs and won the SB. It's the Trump gambit. Keep saying that you won even though you lost and eventually enough chooches will believe you. Sorry about the political reference but it's the closet I can come up with to the author's claim and also the most recent.

I think the author didn't watch the last 2 NFCCGs if he can post that this defense has proven capable of winning an SB. When they can hold an opponent to under 20 points in the NFCCG we should finally get back to the big game. And even then the defense still needs to play we'll enough to actually win the SB. Thanks, Since '61

2 points
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flackcatcher's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:20 am

Sorry '61, that kind of spin will not cover the HC and offensive failures in the fourth quarter, when this game was the Packers for the taking. Did the Lafleur-Pettine relationship cause the miscommunication in the defense in the final seconds of the 1st half. Yeah, it did, and it got worse in the second half of the season. (The Colts game is a classic example) So, for that alone Pettine had to go. But giving Lafleur a pass for his failure to adjust in the second half. Something that was a major weakness of his all season. I'm not that kind.

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Since'61's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:08 pm

I'm not giving MLF a pass but the Packers never played with a lead in the game. 3 of the Bucs TDs came on plays of 20 yards or more. That's poor defense. Not to mention their issues with getting off the field on 3rd and longs, especially during the 1st half.

Yes, the Packers offense could have played better in the 4th quarter but let's remember they started their drives deep in their own territory even after the picks. They should have run the ball more but they were playing without Aaron Jones by that point. Without Jones the Packers lose their best opportunity to break a long run and possibly score from anywhere on the field. Neither Williams or Dillon are running away from anybody. That leaves Rodgers to Adams or maybe Tonyan. Lazard or MVS are not getting it done it that situation. Add in the fact that the OL was pushed around for most of the game. And yet they scored 26 points.

When you reach the championship level of the playoffs we should not assume that our offense will need to score 35 points or more to win. Even if we score on our final possession and take the lead 33-31, Brady would still have had about 40-60 seconds with 3 timeouts to get in FG range and kick an FG. Can we really trust our defense in that situation? Until we can it's unlikely that we're going to an SB. Thanks, Since '61

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CoachDino's picture

March 04, 2021 at 05:48 pm

They got off the field numerous times in the second half. Its a two half game. Sure Tampa Bay put points up on the D. They are good and did it to everyone. The issue was the CB2 and slot play on defense. Other than that they played well.

Of course when you reach the championship level you should expect to score 35 or more. Your playing against the best offensive teams in the league. Today's game is all about offense. If King doesn't have his worst game of his career, a fumble deep in their own end and a freak practice injury to your Stud LT the Packers would of had a great chance of winning the SB.

2 points
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flackcatcher's picture

March 05, 2021 at 01:22 am

All Redman had to was catch the damn ball, and we're talking Superbowl. A great defensive call, Redman catches the ball and the half ends. Sigh....

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Archie's picture

March 04, 2021 at 09:22 am

I will be shocked if this guy turns out to be a good hire i.e., gives us a better defense. Verbosity w/o real substance is always a formula for failure.

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Since'61's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:07 am

Archie, I would usually agree about verbosity without substance but let's at least give the guy a chance to get through OTAs and training camp. Some guys are not very good with press conferences. This might just be a case of a guy trying to please everyone in his initial contact with the media.

It sounds like MLF did a thorough job of due diligence on the candidates during the interview process.

Also, as I recall, MLF did not come across very well during his first press conference either and he's 28-8 so far, which is better than I expected at this point.

Thanks, Since '61

1 points
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PatrickGB's picture

March 04, 2021 at 10:19 am

The guy has run different defenses for different teams. Matt likes the last one that he was a part of. Matt wants more intensity on the field. This was Matt’s choice for DC and he has done well as HC so far. So, despite my strong misgivings, I will wait until the season starts to judge Barry.

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MajWhiplash's picture

March 04, 2021 at 01:34 pm

So he is going to attack with speed and power? Wonder where he's getting the speed from . Seems no one can cover man and they all lack the ability to cover the gaps on zones.
Way too much tackling after the fact and not competing for the ball or knocking it down.
This guy is going to be shell shocked. I can see him going home on day one "honey you wont believe what I saw today. What the hell was I thinking taking this job?"

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