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Cheese Curds, 2/9: Fangio scheme drives Barry hire, Murphy discusses Packers’ season

Murphy weighs in on the disappointing end to the season while we learn a bit more about why the Packers picked Barry to lead their defense.

Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Disappointment is no stranger to the Green Bay Packers’ organization over the last decade. Four NFC Championship Game losses have all come with varying degrees of frustration, and the 2020 version feels much closer to 2014 than it did to 2016 or 2019.

This weekend, Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy addressed his own feelings of disappointment about the end of the season in his monthly column. The figurehead atop the organization hurts as badly as the team’s fans, but he clearly feels optimistic about the team maintaining its recent successful trajectory moving forward.

As the team prepares for 2021, the hire of Joe Barry as defensive coordinator continues to be picked apart and discussed at length. According to one of the Packers’ beat writers, Matt LaFleur’s affinity for a specific defensive scheme — the version of the 3-4 run by Vic Fangio — was a driving factor in his selection of Barry.

However, one of the Packers’ DC candidates actually worked for Fangio in the past, and it’s not Barry. Instead, Barry is a degree of separation removed; he worked under Rams DC Brandon Staley in 2020, and it is Staley who worked for Fangio with the Bears and Broncos. So although the Rams ran a Fangio-style defense last season, Barry does not have first-hand experience with the architect of the defense that LaFleur wants.

Ultimately, it will be impossible to start to reasonably judge the Barry hire until after games begin and probably until after the 2021 season concludes. Packers fans who are criticizing the hire, this writer included, uniformly hope that we are wrong and that he is successful. Now it’s up to Brian Gutekunst to give Barry some good ammunition on the field to put a good defense together.

Barry hire based on LaFleur’s desire to run Fangio defensive scheme | Packersnews.com
Look, Vic Fangio has been a tremendous defensive mind for decades, and his defensive schemes are often difficult to attack. But Ejiro Evero probably could have run a Fangio-like scheme, especially given that Evero actually worked with Fangio in San Francisco a few years ago and shared the same experience with Staley in 2020 that Barry had.

An even more disappointing ending, but still a great season | Packers.com
Murphy's monthly column addresses why this year's NFC Championship loss was a harder pill to swallow than last year's, then dives into some questions about the pandemic, the team's ownership structure, and more.

Jamaal Williams fires agent ahead of free agency | Packer Report
Apparently Williams really wants to re-sign with the Packers. Now both he and Aaron Jones have replaced their agents in the months leading up to their first foray into free agency.

Risky Business Super Bowl LV | Football Outsiders
The Chiefs definitely did the Buccaneers plenty of favors with dumb penalties, but the one that cost the most win probability -- a defensive holding call that wiped out a tipped interception -- seemed like a pretty questionable call.

Finally, we need to mention that legendary NFL head coach Marty Schottenheimer passed away yesterday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Here’s a fun memory of Marty from his playing days: