Joe Barry Out as Packers' Defensive Coordinator After Three Years

Packers Announce Major Shift in Defensive Leadership for 2024

by Zain ul Abedin
Joe Barry Out as Packers' Defensive Coordinator After Three Years
© Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

In a significant move for the upcoming 2024 NFL season, the Green Bay Packers have announced a major shift in their defensive strategy. According to NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero, Joe Barry will no longer serve as the team's defensive coordinator, a decision confirmed by sources close to the situation.

This development was later officially confirmed by the Packers organization. Head Coach Matt LaFleur expressed his gratitude towards Barry for his dedication and contributions over the past three seasons. "These decisions are never easy," LaFleur stated, acknowledging Barry as one of the finest individuals he has worked with in the league.

The coach, earlier in the week, had evaded questions regarding Barry's future, but recent definitive statements hinted at an impending change.

Barry's Defensive Tenure Ends

Barry, who took over the defensive reins from Mike Pettine in 2021, was a direct appointment by LaFleur.

Despite facing numerous challenges and criticisms, LaFleur consistently supported Barry. However, the 2023 season statistics painted a mixed picture of the team's defensive performance under Barry. The Packers ranked 17th in yards allowed and 10th in points surrendered, with a particularly weak rush defense, ranking 28th in the league.

Contrarily, their pass defense was notably stronger, standing as the ninth best. Throughout the season, Barry's leadership became a focal point of discussion, especially considering the high caliber of talent on the team, including eight first-round picks.

The defense's struggles were glaringly highlighted in a demoralizing home loss to Baker Mayfield, and their near defeat to Bryce Young and the Panthers. Despite a commendable performance in the postseason, including a robust defense against the Dallas Cowboys and a strong showing against San Francisco, the consistent issues with strategy, particularly on third downs, and overall team cohesion ultimately led to the decision to part ways with Barry.

Looking forward, the role of defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers is expected to be highly sought after, given the team's recent accumulation of impressive talent. This move marks a pivotal moment for the Packers as they aim to revitalize their defense strategy and maintain their competitive edge in the NFL.