On Monday, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur held his end-of-year presser following the team’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round. According to LaFleur, he gave his entire team the day off on Sunday, which means that he will not meet with his coaching staff individually until Monday afternoon.
First on that agenda, per LaFleur, is meeting with his team’s coordinators. The subject of discussion? He wouldn’t divulge that information.
After three straight seasons of poor run defenses and slow-starting units that got better as the year went on but stumbled out of the gate, defensive coordinator Joe Barry is not a very popular man in Green Bay — at least outside of the building. Despite that, LaFleur said on Saturday, immediately after the loss to San Francisco, that the defense played “fantastic,” even though the team gave up 24 points — 10 of which came in the fourth quarter of that game.
Naturally, one of the first questions that LaFleur received was about Barry’s job status going into the 2024 season, as it seems uncertain if the defensive coordinator will be let go or retained moving forward. When asked about the situation, LaFleur responded, “I haven’t even thought about that at this stage.” When he was questioned about the timeline of the decision, he claimed he was “just gonna through the process at my own pace” with a smile on his face.
So if you were expecting some grand declaration today that the defense would be headed in a completely different direction in 2024, here’s your shot of sobriety. At this point, given all of the opportunities this year that LaFleur has had to say something along the lines of “the defense needs to get better” — opportunities he hasn’t taken — a betting man would guess that Barry is going to come back next season.