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Packers keep Joe Whitt with promotion to defensive passing game coordinator

One of the Packers’ top assistant coaches has a new title for 2018.

NFL: Green Bay Packers OTA Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Whitt, Jr. has been one of the Green Bay Packers’ top defensive assistant coaches for the past several years, and although he did not get the job as defensive coordinator, he is remaining with the team and will have a new title for 2018.

On Wednesday evening, Tim Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel broke the news that head coach Mike McCarthy has given Whitt a promotion, advancing him from cornerbacks coach to a newly-formed “defensive passing game coordinator” position. Whitt will presumably work with both the cornerbacks and the safeties, and his duties may involve some work with the pass rush as well.

This is a step forward for Whitt, who interviewed for the defensive coordinator job along with a pair of fellow internal candidates, Winston Moss and Darren Perry. That job ended up going to former Browns head coach Mike Pettine instead.

Whitt has been credited with the development of several Pro Bowl cornerbacks, including Sam Shields and Tramon Williams — both of whom went undrafted. The Packers’ corners have struggled over the past two years, though much of those issues have been due to significant injuries striking the position.

It is probably only a matter of time before Whitt ends up in a defensive coordinator job eventually, but this is a substantial step forward for him as he will have more responsibilities and will have an opportunity to learn more about the front seven of the defense.