The Green Bay Packers have a new member of their defensive coaching staff as of Monday. Mike Pettine’s staff is gradually starting to take shape, and the latest member of the group is Ryan Downard, who was previously the safeties coach at Bowling Green State University. BGSU announced Downard’s departure on Monday morning.
Downard played safety for Eastern Michigan from 2006-2010, then served as a graduate assistant coach for Texas Tech during the 2013 season. Pettine is familiar with Downard from their shared time with the Cleveland Browns; in 2014 and 2015, Downard was a coaching assistant for the team, during which time Pettine was the team’s head coach.
In addition to serving as BGSU’s safeties coach over the past two years, Downard, a native of Lima, Ohio, served as the college’s director of football operations during the 2016 season.
Silverstein notes that the expectation is that Downard will join the Packers’ staff as a defensive quality control coach rather than replacing Darren Perry as safeties coach. He further notes that Perry remains under contract for 2018, but that his return is not a guarantee. Perry reportedly is in the running for the Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator position and has interviewed for several positions with other teams this offseason, including the Houston Texans’ defensive backs coaching job.