It’s happened. The Joe Barry era is over.
Color me a bit surprised, honestly. While Barry’s performance over his three years at the helm of the Packers’ defense has been underwhelming, the Packers generally and Matt LaFleur specifically have always been a little slow to move. And even if he deserved to go, there were plenty of traditional metrics that he could have pointed to that might indicate he was holding up his end of the bargain.
I’m not saying this is a good argument, but Barry could have sat down with Matt LaFleur and said “look, it wasn’t perfect, but we held 11 opponents to 23 or less this year. We kept teams under 20 nine times. The advanced stats might be bad, but the scoreboard matters most, and we were keeping teams off the scoreboard.”
Fortunately, Matt LaFleur didn’t fall for it. Barry’s defenses have always seemed less than the sum of their parts, and now somebody else is going to get a chance. And what a chance it will be. The offense is young and ascending, and there are intriguing parts on the defense. With a raft of picks coming their way, the Packers could be close to contending for a Super Bowl. Maybe the right defensive coordinator can get them there.
I don’t know if Barry’s departure was a foregone conclusion, but LaFleur’s press conference on Monday certainly raised some questions.
The season-ending vibes are always interesting during the mainly procedural act of cleaning out the locker room.
Probably not, but let’s consider this the start of “cryptic Instagram” season.
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