On Friday, it was reported by ESPN’s Rob Demovsky that outside linebackers coach Mike Smith would be allowed to “pursue other opportunities” despite still being under contract with the Green Bay Packers. Smith was originally hired as the team’s edge rushers coach under defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who was retained by head coach Matt LaFleur after taking over for Mike McCarthy. Smith, though, stuck around on the Packers staff following the firing of Pettine and hiring of current defensive coordinator Joe Berry in 2021.
Under Smith’s watch, Za’Darius Smith developed into an All-Pro pass-rusher while former first-round pick Rashan Gary turned into a Pro Bowl alternate in his first year as a full-time starter.
According to Field Yates of ESPN, Smith has found his “opportunity”: being hired as the Minnesota Vikings’ outside linebackers coach with a pass rush specialist title. It’s worth noting that Pettine, Smiths’ original direct report in Green Bay, is now the Vikings’ assistant head coach.
It is interesting that the Packers would allow this move to happen, considering the fact that they reportedly blocked then offensive line coach Adam Stenavich to take an offensive coordinator interview with former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s Denver Broncos. Either way, that’s water under the bridge now. Green Bay has already hired Jason Rebrovich as their new outside linebackers coach, so their coaching staff churn for the 2022 offseason should be settled now.
A source familiar with Rebrovich’s time in Jacksonville described Rebrovich as a player’s coach, which is generally how Smith was viewed in his time with the Packers.