Just hours after news broke that Mike Smith is stepping down as the Green Bay Packers’ outside linebackers coach, the team has announced the hiring of his replacement. Jason Rebrovich is the man who will be in charge of the Packers’ edge rushers in 2022 following Smith’s three-year stint in Green Bay.
Smith’s departure could potentially be the first of three Smiths leaving Green Bay this offseason, as Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith may end up being cap casualties. If that happens, that would leave fourth-year pro Rashan Gary as the team’s top outside linebacker and the cornerstone around which Rebrovich would build his unit.
Gary was the fourth edge rusher taken in the 2019 NFL Draft, when the Packers chose him 12th overall. Before taking a year off in 2021, Rebrovich’s last NFL coaching job was working with the player taken 7th overall in that draft, Josh Allen of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rebrovich was the Jaguars’ defensive line coach in 2019 and 2020 after spending two years as the team’s assistant defensive line coach. Under his tutelage, Allen recorded 10.5 sacks as a rookie and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Interestingly, Rebrovich has spent significant time coaching with former Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. The two coached on opposite sides of the ball at Syracuse University in 2011 and 2012 before both following head coach Doug Marrone to Buffalo in 2013 and again to Jacksonville when he was hired as the Jaguars’ full-time head coach in 2017. Given these connections, it seems possible that Hackett gave Matt LaFleur, his former boss in Green Bay, a positive recommendation for Rebrovich before leaving for the head coaching position with the Denver Broncos.
Along with the hiring of Tom Clements as quarterbacks coach, the Packers’ coaching staff now appears to be set for 2022.