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Wednesday Cheese Curds: Packers clinging to Joe Barry


I think there’s a touch of stubbornness that comes with the profession of being an NFL head coach. Few people rise to that kind of job without believing for a long time that they are right and that everyone else is wrong. For that matter, most NFL coaches are hired on that very assumption: you are the right guy to fix what the previous (wrong) guy did.

To that end, perhaps it isn’t all that surprising that Matt LaFleur is sticking with Joe Barry. He more or less inherited Mike Pettine, and after the success of the other guys on his defensive coordinator shortlist (Jim Leonhard is still well-regarded and Ejiro Evero is getting head coaching looks), maybe his resolve to stick with the guy he picked as defensive coordinator is growing. “I picked this guy, we’re going to make it work,” is an understandable position, even if it may be wrong.

To be sure, Joe Barry’s defense isn’t entirely responsible for the Packers’ demise in 2022. “Please score more than 20 points in a must-win game” isn’t that big of an ask, and throughout most of the Packers’ season-ending loss to the Lions, Barry’s unit held up their end of the bargain. But the overall picture he’s painted in Green Bay still feels like a disappointment, and for a team that’s viewed itself as a championship contender the last two seasons, it hasn’t been good enough.

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