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Friday Cheese Curds: Joe Barry deserves the benefit of the doubt

Barry’s two stints as defensive coordinator were with two of the league’s most derelict franchises. He deserves a chance to succeed in Green Bay.

Los Angeles Rams v Detroit Lions Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When the Green Bay Packers hired Joe Barry as defensive coordinator, fan reaction was, in a word, muted.

After fan favorite and current Wisconsin Badgers defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard turned down the job, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had to go to Plan B and that plan was Barry.

On the surface, it was a very uninspiring hire. Barry was a dismal failure as a coordinator in Washington and Detroit and at 50 he isn’t exactly the fresh young mind some hoped for like Ejiro Evero (who also was reportedly a finalist).

While these concerns are valid, this might just work out. While Barry’s failures as a coordinator should raise eyebrows, one must consider the two franchises he was working for at the time. Washington isn’t exactly an elite franchise and the Lions are, well, the Lions.

Remember, LaFleur oversaw a rather poor offense in Tennessee when the Packers hired him. Two years later, his offense rewrote the franchise’s storied history book.

The Packers and LaFleur had better hope that same history repeats itself on defense because with Aaron Rodgers turning 38 at the end of the upcoming season, time is ticking.

Joe Barry hiring doesn’t have to be exciting to be good— (subscription)

For all the hand wringing over Barry’s history as a coordinator, he never had the amount of talent non defense that he is inheriting in Green Bay. He won’t have that excuse to fall back on if things don’t go as planned.

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It’s March, which means it’s officially mock draft season. In this version, the Packers take a cornerback who shares an eerily similar name to one of the members of the Super Bowl XXXI-winning squad (no relation). Seriously though, Newsome would be a great fit next to Jaire Alexander.

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