The Lass Word: Zimmer Would Shake Things Up

His record as a DC shines brightly.

Everyone seems to have a favorite candidate to become Green Bay’s next defensive coordinator.  I must admit, when I first heard the news that the firing of Joe Barry became official, the first name that came to my mind was former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. 

Back in the decade between 2010 and 2020, when Aaron Rodgers was in his prime, it always seemed to me that Zimmer was the one coach who consistently figured out how to neutralize our future Hall of Fame quarterback.  That stadium in Minneapolis became a nightmare for Rodgers.  Zimmer’s defenses were tough, aggressive and successful. 

Chris Schad of zonecoverage.com pointed out in a recent article that, during Zimmer’s reign with the Vikings, his defenses held NFC North opponents to an average of 19.8 points per game in 48 games.  The Vikings allowed 24 or more points in just twelve of those contests. 

Aside from his disastrous schematic decisions, one of my biggest problems with Joe Barry is that the Packers’ defensive players just didn’t seem to improve and develop into stars.  Guys like Rashan Gary, Darnell Savage, TJ Slaton, Devonte Wyatt, Eric Stokes and Quay Walker appear to have all the talent in the world, but under Barry they all reach a plateau and fail to advance to the next level.  Developing players was a strong suit for Zimmer.  He took folks such as Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, Xavier Rhodes, Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo and Linval Joseph and got the absolute most out of their talent.  He did the same in previous stints as a DC with the Cowboys and Bengals. 

Zimmer’s demise in Minnesota began with the expensive signing of quarterback Kirk Cousins as a free agent.  The fully guaranteed three year contract put stress on the Vikings’ salary cap, preventing the team from adding key reinforcements on the defensive side.  As that unit got older and less effective, the Vikings began losing and Zimmer paid the price.   

There are other factors that make him an intriguing DC candidate for Green Bay.  He knows the NFC North.  His parting from the Vikings seemed to be laced with hard feelings so he would be highly motivated to be successful.  Aaron Rodgers himself defended Zimmer when the Vikings got off to a slow start in 2020 and rumors flourished that the Minnesota head coach was on the hot seat.  “To see him mentioned on the hot seat in the league is absolutely crazy,” Rodgers said. “I think he’s one of the best coaches in the league and has been for a long time. They don’t all give you the trouble and the scheme that Mike does. I have a lot of respect for the way he coaches and the way he especially coaches defense.”   

In a recent interview with The Insiders, Zimmer said he wants to coach in 2024.  He claimed he has been studying league-wide film and has been diving into analytics to prepare himself for another shot in the NFL.  “The biggest thing right now is I love to teach. I love to coach” he revealed. 

However, there are negative factors in considering Zimmer as the Packers’ next DC.  He is 67 years old.  That’s not necessarily a negative.  Consider Tom Clements is still a top flight assistant coach at 70.  But it does run contrary to the trend of hiring younger prospects who are still climbing up the ladder.  Zimmer’s reputation with the Vikings was as a strong disciplinarian, a style fading in popularity with today’s players.  After his dismissal from the Vikings one of the Minnesota players was quoted as saying Zimmer established “a culture of fear”.  It was long whispered that Zimmer didn’t want Cousins as his quarterback and didn’t get along with him.  It was also reported that, toward the end of his run in the Twin Cities, he and general manager Rick Spielman weren’t even speaking to each other.  Indeed there are numerous accounts of the strong-willed Zimmer having strained relationships with players and the front office.  Hard to say how such an assertive personality would play in the culture of the generally positive Green Bay locker room.  Zimmer also ran a 4-3 defense, although it often morphed into many different looks.  The Packers’ base is a 3-4 so that would require adjustments. 

I can tell you one thing for sure.  In my research of Zimmer I learned Vikings fans are scared to death of the Packers hiring him as DC.  Social media is rife with fan sites of the purple and gold containing articles fearing a Mike Zimmer revenge tour.  They want no part of facing his units twice a year. 

Looks like Viking fans can relax. As of this writing, I haven’t seen Zimmer’s name on any list of possible replacement DCs. I don’t know if Matt LaFleur considers him a viable candidate.  And I’m not saying he is my favorite pick for DC.  LaFleur seems to be focusing on younger guys who are up and coming, though he may still be early in the process. 

I’m just saying Zimmer would be an intriguing choice.  If LaFleur really wants to shake things up, this would be one way to go.  

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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NFL Categories: 
12 points
 

Comments (106)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
WD's picture

January 29, 2024 at 06:40 am

It sounds like the only possible objection is his age. With age comes experience and many times wisdom Sixty seven too old? Yes, for running back but not for coaching. Granted, not everyone ages well (without mentioning names) But, that is why you would have to interview him. Maybe even get feedback from other coaches and players. If he has the passion, the drive, and the wisdom from years of experience that is a plus not a negative. I have no clue who they should hire but this article from Ken makes a very persuasive case to at least interview him.

11 points
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beerandbrats's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:35 am

The last time the Packers won a Superbowl, their DC was a retread but they finished that year with the number 2 scoring defense. That doesn't mean we should just run out and hire an old stalwart but it's hard to beat wisdom and experience.

I don't envy MLF. There's a lot of pressure to get this right. Let's hope he's up to the challenge and makes the right hiring decision!

6 points
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Guam's picture

January 29, 2024 at 10:15 am

The problem with an "old stalwart" is organizational fit, not experience and wisdom.

Lafleur is not an old school, strong willed leader a la Bill Belichick or Vince Lombardi. He is a younger manager who prefers a more collaborative and collegial style of leadership. Pairing him with Zimmer (who didn't get along with players or management in Minnesota) or Martindale (who walked out on the last year of his contract with the Giants because of his conflict with Daboll) could quickly turn into a disaster and fracture the cohesion of the team.

There is risk with some of the old stalwarts, it is just a different kind of risk than hiring a less experienced but more collegial younger guy. You are quite correct that Lafleur has a challenge.

4 points
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PatrickGB's picture

January 29, 2024 at 12:04 pm

“Granted, not everyone ages well (without mentioning names) “. Thanks for not mentioning my name.

5 points
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Spock's picture

January 29, 2024 at 12:37 pm

...or mine. :)

2 points
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NickPerry's picture

January 29, 2024 at 06:49 am

I thought of Zimmer as a possible DC replacement but I think there's better options out there for the Packers to consider. Right now I've heard several rumors about Christian Parker of the Broncos. I think I'd rather go Zimmer over Parker but I think there's better choices out there than both of them.

0 points
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Houndog's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:36 am

Nick,
I too thought of Zimmer when the Barry firing finally happened but thought better of it in remembering that stone faced, iron fist appearance of the guy.
I don't think today's players will respond to that for very long.
As for Parker, the rumors yesterday were that he's already been offered the job, but there's been nothing but crickets since then, so what's going on?
Parker has worked for Mike Pettine, Vic Fangio, Ejiro Evero, and Vance Joseph, and Joseph raves about what he brings to the table from his experiences and ideas from working with the others.
I'm just wondering why this search seems to be such a hush-hush deal.

0 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:53 am

The other thing with Zimmer, is I don't believe him and LaFleur get a long. Could be wrong about that but I remember him and zimmer barely would shake hands and I don't think had anything positive to say about each other.
That could mean something, it could mean nothing.

"I'm just wondering why this search seems to be such a hush-hush deal."
This is just how GB operates. There is not a lot of news until there is news.

7 points
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PeteK's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:04 am

Zimmer was pretty much like that with all opposing coaches. Seems like the kind of guy that was into self flagellation. A leader can instill an atmosphere of discipline while having an amicable personality, it just takes a bit more communication. As a result, the clubhouse atmosphere is more cohesive.

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 10:28 am

yeah. I just don't know how LaFleur would work with him. It just seemed like there was something there. I could be completely wrong, but that is how it felt.

0 points
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Guam's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:53 am

Some of the Raven assistant coaches are now available for interviews and I would hope MLF takes a look at one or two of them. They have played solid defense for years in Baltimore.

I like Lafleur's idea of an up and comer rather than an older retread. I think culture fit is a big issue with coordinators like Zimmer, Martindale and some of the other older coaches. They will want the culture their way rather than Lafleur's way and that won't work and likely cause problems.

2 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:55 am

"Some of the Raven assistant coaches are now available for interviews and I would hope MLF takes a look at one or two of them."

I do wonder if they were waiting to interview any of them.

Do you have anyone you want them to interview from the Ravens?

1 points
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Guam's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:19 am

Zach Orr or Dennard Wilson would be my favorites from the Raven's staff, but I am no expert on NFL coaches.

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 10:47 am

Yeah i have heard both names being mentioned. I have seen Anthony Weaver also being brought up.

0 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

January 30, 2024 at 08:17 pm

I read a write-up on Wilson, made him seem very good.

0 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

January 29, 2024 at 01:23 pm

"I like Lafleur's idea of an up and comer rather than an older retread." It's worked well with the QB position this year, so...

2 points
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albert999's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:48 am

Brendan Daly of the chiefs is a great choice for DC

2 points
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PeteK's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:05 am

Learned under the best.

1 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:52 am

What I “want” is very risky. Either a home run or a strikeout: A young, innovative guy who can make the D BETTER than the sum of its (highly drafted) parts. The guy who is going to become the “next big thing”.
Problem is, attempting to FIND that guy could be a disaster.
I think we’re all pretty jacked about GB’s window now. They have their QB, lots of tight ends and receivers, Aaron Jones, and some athletes on D that have sporadically gotten it done over the past couple years. Can we find a DC who can maximize their talents and make them more consistent?
Oh, and speaking of consistent, the kicking operation…

0 points
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PeteK's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:20 am

Also, add a S like Hamilton. I was drooling while watching the game and envisioning him on our D ( 63 solo, 4 Ints, 13 PD, 7 STF).

3 points
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T7Steve's picture

January 29, 2024 at 06:57 am

I'd love and think all these guys are mostly lacking IS discipline. Accountability has been lacking for the players and the coaches. If he's considered too old, he can hire young assistants recently out of the league to bridge the gap and be the players buddies.

That said, it's easy to stand back in the non-football world I live in and preach discipline. I know how I'd act if someone was in my face. LOL.

Let's just hope that now that MLF has made the jump, he'll look at all avenues for the right answer. Quickly though, as all the best candidates will be swooped up fast.

3 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:04 am

And, they have to be good tacklers. Since the CBA dang near forbids practicing that skill, they’ve gotta be pretty good at it coming in.

7 points
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PeteK's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:23 am

Really, I saw some very good form tackling Sunday.

4 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 29, 2024 at 11:04 am

That's Gutey's department, procuring competent players.

5 points
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dobber's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:18 am

"I'd love and think all these guys are mostly lacking IS discipline. "

I tend to agree on the discipline thing, and it can take many forms--whether it's how they play on the field or how they handle their PR and life off it. I think there are a couple big personalities in the defensive locker room. Some were in line with Jerry Gray prior to his exit...some have been a little too free with airing their gripes through social media. The next coach needs to find a way harness them (not suppress). It starts and ends with players respecting the coach and having player leaders that bring guys together.

Many people beat on Za'Darius Smith, but I'd argue he (and P. Smith) was a huge reason for the Packers' turnaround in 2019--vocal locker room leader and was in line with the coaches...for awhile, anyway.

3 points
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HarryHodag's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:26 am

Zimmer's defensive ability is unquestioned. The problem is he's a bit of a load to handle. "Fit" is also a factor. A personnel director told me once that many people are qualified for jobs but a larger factor is how they fit within the scheme. You can have a brilliant worker who destroys the work culture.

Another factor is personnel. The Packers might not have the players to do the kind of defense Zimmer would want. Players are not Legos that you can interconnect in any way you want. Getting players to fit the scheme might take time(salary cap is tight) and with Detroit leading the way, the Packers have to be ready to match them right away.

I think MLF should talk to Zimmer but keep a critical eye because the culture in Green Bay is a major factor in the hire.

11 points
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Razer's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:47 am

..,The problem is he's a bit of a load to handle. "Fit" is also a factor. You can have a brilliant worker who destroys the work culture...

This would be my worry as well. Matt LaFleur has done a good job of building a group think culture with these young guys. Zimmer's culture of fear is from 2 and 3 decades ago.

-2 points
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GregC's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:36 am

Yeah, the Packers seem to emphasize harmoniousness even more than most other NFL teams. It's hard to picture Zimmer fitting in. No matter how smart your people are, if you don't have harmony, communication breaks down. That leads to all kinds of problems.

2 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:48 am

It would be the height of stupidity to hire a coordinator whose system doesn't fit your players. Can you imagine a 3 year retool of the defense? Also, does anyone see what happened in Minnesota with a change in coordinators? Flores took the talent he had a built a system to maximize it. That is not Zimmer's M.O. He runs a system, GB doesn't have the players to fit that system. Preston Smith isn't going to turn into a 4-3 defensive end. Quay Walker is not a thumping middle linebacker. Try harder Ken.

The new coordinator will run a hybrid scheme and hopefully do a better job getting his defense to do his bidding, and have them communicating at a higher level.

-6 points
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dobber's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:26 am

"It would be the height of stupidity to hire a coordinator whose system doesn't fit your players"

I think this is an issue, but in today's era of multiple looks and situational play, probably less of an issue than when teams played more base in the past. There was a nice article on JSOnline the other day that points out that the Packers are probably better situated to flip base defense than we think...Gary and Van Ness are guys well-suited to become even front DEs. Walker is well-suited to play the weak side OLB in a 4-3...run-down MLBs are not hard to find. You'd have to ask if P. can play the strong side OLB or becomes a rotational DE.

...but that's all in a 4-3 base alignment. Most teams play base less than 35% of defensive snaps. Remember that it essentially took one draft and Dom Capers to make the switch from Bob Sanders' 4-3 to the 3-4. I'm not advocating for it. I'm just agreeing with the article premise that the Packers might not be so married to a 3-4 guy.

6 points
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LLCHESTY's picture

January 29, 2024 at 04:17 pm

Preston Smith would do just fine as a 4-3 DE. That's essentially what he's doing in nickel which is over 60% of the snaps now. And then people could stop bitching about him dropping into coverage.

2 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

January 30, 2024 at 08:26 pm

Exactly what I was thinking!

0 points
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SinceLombardi's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:37 am

The Super Bowl window often closes as fast as it opens. The time to hire an young unproven was pre 2023. Don’t risk anything now. Get a proven commodity. Wink Martindale would be my first choice. What he did for the 2022 NYG was stunning. They even hung in there in 2023 with a Mickey Mouse offense. Although I would want to know what went wrong with Daboll.

2 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

January 30, 2024 at 08:27 pm

I agree that this is not the time to take risks. What do you think of Wilson from the Ravens? Has coached for 12 years.

0 points
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Houndog's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:48 am

Rumor has it the Bears are interviewing Joe Barry for a defensive assistant position.
That would be great, and should be damned near enough to cement Jordan Love as the new owner of Da Bears.

6 points
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GregC's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:30 am

Do you think Joe Barry is going to destroy the Bears defense because he's their linebackers coach?

3 points
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dobber's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:27 am

He got to be DC repeatedly by being a pretty good position coach.

6 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

January 29, 2024 at 03:26 pm

Overrated as a LB coach. He got most of his DC promotions due to who he knew, not his coaching skills. And Walker has not lived up to his size, speed, college production, or First Round selection either. Of all draft choice who have not improved under Barry, you would think Walker would at least improve the most for the former LB coach. He hasn't.

0 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:14 pm

If he wanted to choose a defensive player, the guy should have been Karlaftis as the pick It's always about pass rush.

0 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:49 am

I don't want Zimmer.

I think everyone hear knows who I want.

But in general I would much rather go with a young and upcoming guy rather then and older retread type.

Now that being said whoever they bring in, i will support. I want the best team on the field.

3 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

January 29, 2024 at 06:05 pm

I don’t know who you want.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:52 am

Zimmer has a purple taint. Avoid.

4 points
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Razer's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:06 am

Agree. If they were to "have a talk" they should find a Dennys somewhere in another state.

0 points
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dobber's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:41 am

Denny's? THEIR MENU IS WHAT WE THOUGHT IT WAS!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWmQbk5h86w

2 points
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Razer's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:56 am

Maybe the potential DCs looking at the Packer's opening are not too enamoured with the personnel on this side of the ball. Experienced coaches know what they need to make their systems work and maybe they don't see those pieces on our roster. Even a young guy like Parker is going to think twice about throwing his fate in with our talent gaps. With needs at safety, corner (maybe), linebacker and an average D-line, you gotta wonder what the hiring conversations are about?

-5 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:27 am

I somewhat disagree.

I think GB is pretty loaded with talent overall.

The defensive front is good and is only going to get better. Gary another year removed from his torn ACL should be better then ever. LVN was really coming on late in the season and becoming a force. Clark is very good. Slaton is improving. Brooks was really good as a rookie. Wooden made plays. They have a good front.
They have Walker who if used right could absolutely be a stud. He has the ability to go sideline to sideline, has the ability to blitz, and if used in the right ways can be good in the passing game also. They need another guy next to him.
They have CB's. The have one of the best CB's in the league and it sounds like they got him back to the right attitude. Vallentine played well enough to be a starter, but they should get Stokes back too. They can always use more, but what they have is a pretty damn good start.
Safety needs to be redone. But one good FA and one good draft pick changes the look of that room really quick.

They obviously need more pieces. But as a whole they have a lot of really good players already to make almost any scheme work. They need a more aggressive approach though. They need someone that is willing to mix coverages and is willing to blitz. Down the stretch we saw a lot more of that after LaFleur got involved.

Also this is a very attractive job because they have a young stud QB and an offense that is up and coming. They have a lot of draft value to add to the defense and get the pieces the new DC will need.

4 points
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Razer's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:05 am

I hope what you say is true and that the under performance was scheme/coaching related. I saw a D-line/linebackers who had trouble against the run. I didn't see much blitz success - when used. One thing Joe Barry did do is get decent play from a fairly average secondary. Overall, down the stretch, Joe Barry got a fair amount of production out of this defense.

4 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 10:25 am

What gives me hope is watching them going up against Dallas and essentially shutting them out, until Barry got conservative at the end. Watching them against the Lions (2nd time) and shutting them down. Playing the Chiefs and shutting the down.

To me those are things that give me hope. They just need a guy with a good system and willing to be aggressive.

3 points
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murf7777's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:26 am

You forgot Wyatt…He’s coming on hopefully.

3 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 10:26 am

Sorry yes. i did. He really improved in year 2.

I'm tired. long weekend lol.

1 points
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4thand10's picture

January 29, 2024 at 02:17 pm

And Johnathan Ford on the PS…

1 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:32 pm

5.5 Sacks in 2023, as he was Underutilized in the "scheme." Drafted as a one pick to Rotate in and out of the lineup, as with Van Ness, instead of receiving a higher volume of reps to establish flow and set up their counter moves? Packertown has to land a pressure guy for the next DC. Get one of Spags prodigies.

0 points
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PeteK's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:35 am

I'm disappointed in Walker, his reaction and ability to get off blks is a major reason for our poor rushing D.

-1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 10:27 am

When he is used to attack he has been really good. When he has to read and react he isn't as good. He is a guy that I believe needs to attack and they need to find ways to use his athleticism. Though he is pretty good in coverage down the field. He could have had a few interceptions except for him dropping the ball.

-1 points
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2
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

January 30, 2024 at 08:35 pm

I'm glad to see you speak well of #7! Used properly he's a playmaker. I haven't seen that in the passing game so much though? Blitz, rush, pressure; as long as he's attacking and making the opponent react to HIM, he's great.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:57 am

Razer, you can't have it both ways. Either the personnel isn't very good, or the coaches aren't very good. We finished 10th in scoring defense, despite key people missing time with injuries, but it was decided that our Defensive Coordinator needed to be replaced because we "should have" been better.

Fine. But then you can't say the personnel isn't very attractive. The Front 5....that's what I call the interior linebackers and DL......is pretty good. Clark, Wyatt, Slaton, Wooden, Brooks, Walker, Campbell and McDuffie all rotate in.
And at OLB/Edge, even without Enagbare, we're still looking at Gary, PSmith, and VanNess.

We have some things to solve in the secondary, and that's going to start with decisions on our own FAs, Savage and Nixon and Owens. Our putative starting corners, Alexander and Stokes, have a significant injury history. Of the rest.....maybe Valentine will improve and be more of a contributor next year.

As far as the hiring conversations, I guarantee you that the DC will be asked to explain how he plans on keeping points off the board for 17 games and playoffs. "Well, we're going to stuff the run and gang tackle and do aggressive press coverage" isn't really a plan. He's going to be asked specifically how he's going to stop the Lions, Vikings, and Bears from going over 20.

He's going to be asked about his priorities, whether it's stuffing the run or slowing down the pass (it'll be the pass). He'll probably be asked questions about how he'd improve our turnover numbers, since we didn't get a lot last year.

The main reason NOT to take the job as DC in Green Bay is because you can look back over 20 years of DCs here being excoriated and fired for the crime of being average.

It'd be better to be the DC in Detroit, where expectations aren't as high and you have a proven offense that won't leave you on the bad end of low scoring games. Or Minnesota, where the defense collapsed entirely as the season went on.

Any DC that comes to GB is going to have to fix the secondary and be a Top 10 scoring defense his first season or the knives will be out. That might give some guys pause, but the guys who really believe they can win will take the challenge.

0 points
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7
Razer's picture

January 29, 2024 at 11:04 am

It won't be popular but I will say that Joe Barry did pretty well with the talent that he had. His last 5 games got a team that could stop the run nor cover offenses over the middle playing fairly sound ball. If we don't improve the talent in key areas the next DC will eventually end up playing the same "prevent-the big-play" defense.

-1 points
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5
Leatherhead's picture

January 29, 2024 at 12:03 pm

Sounds like we have some agreement on Barry. When you look at who we were lining up in the secondary against Tampa Bay, it's a lot of guys who aren't really NFL starters.

I do like our defensive front though. We've got a really good 6/7 man rotation up front.

1 points
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3
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

January 30, 2024 at 08:43 pm

Brenton Cox can probably work himself in to be part of it. Whether it's via new DC, working individually with a specialist or what, if LVN adds some skills he'll be a monster!

0 points
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Razer's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:04 am

Out of curiosity, if you were Matt LaFleur, what critical questions would you ask a DC candidate? I would want to know:

1. What structure does the DC use for working with his coaches?
2, What did he see with the past Green Bay defenses?
3, What are the keys to his defense working?
4, What does he need that isn't here?

4 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:03 am

I'd ask something along the lines of with what we have for pieces on defense how do you envision maximizing each and everyone of their talents.

3 points
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Leatherhead's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:59 am

I'd ask him "What's your Plan?" How are you going to improve the defense?

2 points
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Packerpasty's picture

January 30, 2024 at 12:33 pm

and im sure thats one of the many questions to be asked in an interview...

0 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

January 29, 2024 at 06:07 pm

Does stopping the run matter at all?

1 points
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

January 30, 2024 at 08:45 pm

On third and short it sure does!

0 points
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BruceC1960's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:08 am

Will be interesting to see if someone hires Zimmer. Sure looks like the league is looking for younger coaches.
Has the game passed these guys by? Why else would these guys be out of work?
Zimmer
Pete Carroll
Mike Vrabel
Belichick
Ron Riviera
Frank Reich
Wink Martindale
Leslie Frazier

0 points
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albert999's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:45 am

Yes

0 points
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PeteK's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:44 am

Pete Carrol defenses are always great tackling and scheme sound. Without the stress/burden of a head coach his positive and energetic personality would fit great with this team. However, he's ready for a well deserved restful retirement.

1 points
1
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Leatherhead's picture

January 29, 2024 at 10:01 am

Then why has Seattle finished below Green Bay in scoring defense the last couple of years.??

1 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

January 29, 2024 at 04:09 pm

There you go again with your damn pesky facts

0 points
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CasuallyObsessed's picture

January 29, 2024 at 02:05 pm

I would detest watching him chew gum for 17+ games.

1 points
1
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LLCHESTY's picture

January 29, 2024 at 04:21 pm

Seattle has twice as many missed tackles as Dallas this year. Not great Bob.

1 points
1
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LeotisHarris's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:38 am

From the outside looking in, it appears that like his son, unfortunately Mike Zimmer is losing a battle with the bottle. Alcoholism destroys lives. Zimmer has all the physical traits of a man on whose body is giving up. I hope he gets some help.

5 points
5
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albert999's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:45 am

Wow

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

January 29, 2024 at 12:04 pm

I wouldn't wish that on a snake.

2 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

January 29, 2024 at 04:04 pm

Ward, I think you're being a little bit hard on the Beaver...

2 points
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mrtundra's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:41 am

I don't care how good he is, I do not want Zimmer in Green Bay. The guy almost choked trying to say "Green Bay", in a post game interview. His handshake with MLF, after the Packers beat his vikings, was hilarious. Hard NO on Zimmer. I've heard reports that say Christian Parker may be the guy GB wants, as their new DC. Solid communicator, the players supposedly love playing for him, knows the Fangio style of D, etc....Rumors? Maybe. We'll see soon enough.

0 points
2
2
Packerpasty's picture

January 30, 2024 at 12:36 pm

nothing wrong with a young and up and coming guy...they probably work harder to prove themselves..

0 points
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albert999's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:44 am

Zimmer to old school
Brendan Daly of the chiefs is a great choice for DC

1 points
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albert999's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:49 am

If they hire Zimmerman the carry the G beer sales will triple just from his consumption 🤷🏼

0 points
3
3
JQ's picture

January 29, 2024 at 11:39 am

IF in fact he's struggling with alcoholism, that's not funny...

5 points
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NFLfan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:51 am

My guess is Christian Parker is in the lead which I am enthused about. MLF has worked with him already, he has glowing reports from coaches & players, he managed to remain in Denver through 3 regimes, he was fast-tracked into the higher echelons of coaching programs. I liked his interview (on youtube). Now that the Ravens are out of the picture there will likely be a run on some of their D Assistant coaches.
Some of these older, well-known Defensive guys come with a lot of baggage and would be difficult to manage. Martindale wears out his welcome after one year, Vrabel is another huge personality with a not-so-good existing relationship w/LF, Emperor Belichick would demand the keys to the kingdom, Zimmer is a cantankerous old school character and so on.

-2 points
2
4
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

January 30, 2024 at 08:49 pm

What about Wilson from the Ravens? Has coached for 12 years.

0 points
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PackfanNY's picture

January 29, 2024 at 08:56 am

No to Zimmer. He’s nothing special.

2 points
4
2
J-Rome's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:08 am

After watching him in MN, I'm not a fan of Zimmer. I remember his secondary going rogue on him vs the Packers because they didn't agree with his strategy. I remember him calling out players in the media. Fans like that, but I wouldn't like that as a player. A good leader praises in public and punishes in private. As a DC, he probably wouldn't have much to do with kickers, but in MN he psyched out any kicker they had on the team. He's just not a good fit.

3 points
3
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lou's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:17 am

Based on the reported list of DC candidates the Packers sure moved quickly in the interview process, it appears they had a solid list at the ready. Most surprising is the fact that list did not include Jim Leonard, the guy who was their top choice before hiring Barry. Either he said no again up front or the team is really holding a grudge against him for not taking the job when offered. Too bad for all parties.

0 points
3
3
murf7777's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:18 am

Ken, one of the better articles I’ve read from you. You had me in the beginning, begging for Zimmer to be hired, but showing objectivity in your article while talking about his dated disciplinary style of coaching my mind changed. That’s great writing! I

’ll take a pass on Zimmer. Why, because I want an up and comer to work with this young team. If we were in win now mode with older vets, I’d take a run with Zimmer.

3 points
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jlc1's picture

January 29, 2024 at 11:26 am

Age is a plus in that he is too old to be hired away as a HC. There may be other reasons for not making him DC.

1 points
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1
Packers0808's picture

January 29, 2024 at 12:12 pm

Been a Packer fan since 1958, never thought about being any other fan of any other team, but hire Zimmer could make me think hard about it.

-4 points
1
5
jont's picture

January 29, 2024 at 12:34 pm

"Zimmer established a culture of fear."

It's sounds really bad when you put it that way, Ken, but, you know, I am not entirely opposed to a butt-kicking coach. It depends on whose butt is getting kicked and why. Maybe those Vikes who feared him deserved it. I recall some tough losses for those purple guys.

4 points
4
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Bitternotsour's picture

January 29, 2024 at 02:04 pm

Makes a lot of sense, the Packers never played better than when Forrest Gregg was the Head Coach.

4 points
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barutanseijin's picture

January 29, 2024 at 02:51 pm

Vikings hit their peak with Les Steckel, too.

3 points
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Packer_Fan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 12:59 pm

That game yesterday makes me sick to my stomach. This was the Packers year to win the Super Bowl. But not for a missed FG and a DC that couldn't get a stop in the fourth quarter.

It becomes another game in a growing number of games I can't watch. 97 Super Bowl, 2007 NFC championship, 2014 NFC championship, 2020 NFC championship and now this year's squandered Super Bowl run.

-2 points
3
5
Leatherhead's picture

January 29, 2024 at 01:21 pm

I don't think most people realize how close we came. IMO, at the end of the season, SF was the best team in the NFC, and we were a close second.

5 points
5
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lecko's picture

January 29, 2024 at 04:17 pm

I felt the same for some days. Usually after latest packers loss I didnt watch footbal for months. Then listening to some podcast I heared one of the better reasons to be OK with that loss. Eric Baranczyk said something like "imagine this young guys go to superbowl, mabe even win it. It is human nature to not work that hard after achiving top goal. But now they tried playoffs and saw what they are missing, this loss may give them all motivation needed to work as hard as they can"

2 points
2
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

January 30, 2024 at 09:08 pm

You can't pin the loss on a missed FG, or even JB. The whole team missed opportunities right from the first play. GB got beat, by a better team. What's amazing is that GB got there at all and made it a game, right up until the final 52 seconds.

This may have every player up their intensity straight thru week 1 next season, in which case that will help more than the draft.

0 points
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Alberta_Packer's picture

January 29, 2024 at 01:41 pm

Grumpy Old Men (Zimmer, Martindale, Belichick...) - would make for good headlines (at least initially) but would not fit the growing identity of a young, fun, dynamic and developing team. Good vibes should flow throughout the team - players, coaches and management. Not sure this would happen with a crusty old coach with fixed habits and practices. It may be like putting sugar in a gas tank.

2 points
4
2
Starrbrite's picture

January 29, 2024 at 01:50 pm

Zimmer—seriously? Absolutely no way! You would need a team of doctors and a defibrillator next to him.

-2 points
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PhantomII's picture

January 29, 2024 at 02:57 pm

I want a DC who can use players to their strengths and/or tells Gute who he needs to take us to the next level. I want a DC and his group to love these players, teach them football AND life. Many come from homes with absent fathers. I want him to get with ML and Gute and build a program that has people come in and teach these guys how to manage their money for the future and invest it wisely. If you love your people and are there for them we will have a much better group of young men that will prosper on the field and the real game of life. GPG

5 points
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JQ's picture

January 29, 2024 at 03:31 pm

I don't see Mike Zimmer's age as a liability, because historically he's built stout, salty defenses. Nor do I think commanding respect from the young Packer defenders is a bad thing. But Zimmer would have to practice the nuanced demeanor needed to be a successful coach in the modern NFL.

I don't know anything about Zimmer except for what I've seen on TV or YouTube. But I do know one size doesn't fit all. Some guys need a kick in the pants, others may require kidskin gloves, then there’s everything in between.

I think Zimmer would immediately upgrade the Packer defense, but I’m not sure his success would be sustainable. I also believe there are better options available. And I SURE HOPE LaFleur has learned from his previous hires that have bombed! In any case, there’s no harm in a thorough, thoughtful job search that’s includes variety of resumes’ and ages. Go Packers!
-JQ

1 points
2
1
LambeauPlain's picture

January 29, 2024 at 03:35 pm

There could be worse selections than Zimmer...another Coordinator who just is not a HC. His success as DC is rock solid. The man knows defense.

There are several younger candidates like Leonard, Evero, Aranda, the Ravens, etc I would prefer.

But the experienced, older, tough love disciplinarian Fritz Schumer did rather well and frankly was the last consistently excellent DC the Packers have had...top defenses in the NFL.

4 points
4
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ImaPayne's picture

January 29, 2024 at 04:24 pm

Zimmer? Are they really talking to ZImmer. The Vikes hated him. He hard assed them all the time and never had a good thing to say to anyone. He is not a fit. Being a good coach is one thing being an ahole is another. Just say no to this guy.

2 points
2
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Packerpasty's picture

January 30, 2024 at 12:34 pm

No way in hell should he come to GB...pretty sure he wont even be interviewed...

0 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

January 29, 2024 at 06:18 pm

Reading the Packers may have offered Christian Parker the DC job. No word if the 32 year old, rapidly rising Broncos DB coach has accepted the offer.

He has a history with Matt and the Packers being Defensive QC coach for Pettine in 2019, 2020...then worked with Fangio, Evero, and last year with Broncos DC Joseph this season.

He would be a bit of a risk being so young, but has a developed a strong rep over the last 5 years as a great coach, communicator, innovator and extremely hard working and dedicated.

1 points
2
1
NFLfan's picture

January 29, 2024 at 09:26 pm

@LP, I agree.

0 points
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revolson's picture

January 29, 2024 at 07:28 pm

Whoever it is, I don’t ever want to see two downlinemen-ever!

1 points
1
0