The Green Bay Packers gave coaches, other than head coach Matt LaFleur, their first opportunity to speak to the media on Tuesday. As part of a three-day stretch of press conferences, today, the team’s coordinators spoke to the press. On Wednesday, it’ll be the defensive assistants and Thursday will focus on the offensive side of the ball.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry kicked off the presser with comments about second-year defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt. Barry wants him to be an “all-around disruptive player” this year and said, “He has that ability. He has that quickness. He has that athleticism.” Wyatt will be part of a group that will replace two starting 3-4 defensive ends after Dean Lowry and Jarran Reed left in free agency this offseason.
Barry also had high praise for 2023 first-round draft pick Lukas Van Ness out of Iowa, stating, “It’s scary when you get a young player like that – to kind of close your eyes and think about what those guys will be three, four, five years down the road when they are 25, 26 years old.”
The secondary, though, is where the question marks are for this team. Beyond claiming that he doesn’t know who is going to start at safety opposite of Darnell Savage — at least as of yet — Barry didn’t downplay the ankle injury that ended 2021 first-round cornerback Eric Stokes’ season last year last year. On the topic, Barry noted, “Eric had a pretty substantial injury and he’s on the road to recovery.” Stokes will not be available for the start of organized team activities, though, he has reported to Green Bay for voluntary work.
For what it’s worth — and this might make Packers fans groan — Barry said that he never thought there was a chance that he would get fired during the 2022 season, despite his defense underperforming for the first 10 or so weeks.
Offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich stated that Green Bay’s offense might look a little different this year, not just because of the quarterback switch from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love, but also because of the emphasis on two-tight end sets now that the team is armed with two Day 2 rookies in Oregon State’s Luke Musgrave and South Dakota State’s Tucker Kraft. He also said that Zach Tom, who stood out as a rookie fourth-round pick last year, is going to get looks at right guard, right tackle and even center during camp. Center is arguably the shakiest position on the Packers’ offensive line, but 2021 second-round pick Josh Myers is generally viewed as a center-only player and could be tough to bench due to his draft status.
Special teams coordinator and assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia set the record straight on the selection of kicker Anders Carlson: Yes, he had input on the rookie draft choice. Bisaccia said that his history with the Carlson family dates back to his time at Auburn, when he recruited Anders’ older brother — Daniel Carlson, who Bisaccia coached with the Raiders — to play in the SEC. On the subject of how long he’s been working with Anders, Bisccia claimed, “In our time in Vegas, Anders had come out there a couple of times and had been out there on the grass with us.”
Still, the team doesn’t seem to have fully moved on from Mason Crosby, who is still a free agent. Like general manager Brian Gutekunst stated earlier in the offseason, Bisaccia echoed that the door’s not closed on a Crosby return and Bisaccia said the two still continue to talk. “We’ll see what the future holds” was the coach’s final statement on Crosby.