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Who is Christian Parker, rumored leading candidate for Packers’ DC opening?

A deep dive into the candidate who has reportedly been offered a defensive coordinator opportunity by Green Bay.

Denver Broncos v Miami Dolphins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

In the three days since former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry has been let go from his position, the Packers have reportedly set up interviews with four candidates to fill the vacancy: former Chargers head coach Brandon Staley, Bills linebackers coach Bobby Babich, Cowboys defensive line coach Aden Durde and Broncos defensive backs coach Christian Parker. Per a report from Andrew Mertig of the Pack-A-Day Podcast, two sources told him that Parker is not only currently in Green Bay, but that he has been offered the job to be the team’s next defensive coordinator.

The writers on the Packers’ beat have neither confirmed nor denied the report at the moment, nor has Mertig reported on whether or not Parker has accepted the offer. That hasn’t halted the interest in Parker over the last several hours, though, so we might as well try to take a deep dive into Parker’s coaching history as we await more details on the Packers’ defensive coordinator search to surface.

Parker is a native of northern Virginia who attended the University of Richmond as a student-athlete. As a Spider, he ran track on top of playing both receiver and cornerback for the football team. Shortly after his playing career, he joined Virginia State, a Division II program, as a graduate assistant and was then promoted to defensive backs coach. After two years at Virginia State, he left one HBCU for another, joining the FCS’ Norfolk State as a defensive backs coach.

He also spent two years there before joining Mike Elko’s staff at Notre Dame as a defensive analyst in 2017. Elko, now the head coach at Texas A&M after a successful stint at Duke, would leave Notre Dame in 2018 for A&M, leading to Parker following him in an analyst role.

In 2019, Parker was hired by the Green Bay Packers in his first NFL role, as a defensive quality control coach under then-defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. He held that job for two years before being offered a full-time on-field coaching job by the Denver Broncos as their defensive backs coach. In three years in Denver, Parker was retained despite coaching under three different head coaches and three different defensive coordinators. Notably, he coached under current Eagles defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, current Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero and current Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.

Christian Parker coaching resume

  • 2013: Virginia State (D2) graduate assistant
  • 2014: Virginia State (D2) defensive backs coach
  • 2015-2016: Norfolk State (FCS) defensive backs coach
  • 2017: Notre Dame (FBS) defensive analyst
  • 2018: Texas A&M (FBS) defensive analyst
  • 2019-2020: Green Bay Packers defensive quality control coach
  • 2021-2023: Denver Broncos defensive backs coach

So what kind of a coach is Parker and what would he run in Green Bay, if he were named the team’s defensive coordinator? There isn’t that much information about the 32-year-old who has yet to call plays at any level, but a few reports shed light on how well-regarded he is in Denver.

One of these comes from Taylor Kyles, a Patriots beat reporter, who had a conversation with Robby Davis, who covers the Broncos. According to Davis, Parker was key to transitioning the defense from the Fangio-style defense to the scheme that Joseph wanted to run in Denver. The Packers saw the mid-season improvement from the Broncos first-hand, as they were held to just 17 points only four games after Denver allowed 70 points to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3.

It’s worth mentioning here that Parker was interviewed by the Patriots for their defensive coordinator opening, a job that has apparently gone to internal candidate DeMarcus Covington. As of now, the Packers and Patriots are the only teams known to have set up interviews with Parker.

The other piece of reporting that shows how important Parker is to the Broncos’ coaching staff comes from Broncos Wire, which recorded Joseph’s thoughts on the assistant coach.

“He’s sharp, man,” current defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said of Parker on June 14. “He’s sharp. He’s a star. He is a great partner to work with. As a veteran coach, I’ve coordinated for about seven years now. My tape is out there, so I’m looking for ways to do different things.

“[I’ve been] speaking with Christian every day and bouncing ideas off him from what he’s done with Vic [Fangio] and guys in the past has been fun. [We’re] making changes and growing off what they did last year. He’s smart, he works his butt off and his players love playing for him. He’s a star.”

If you want to get a handle on Parker’s “vibe,” there are also two videos on the Broncos’ YouTube page that feature Parker. The first is a Mic’d Up segment that follows him around at practice. The second is a media availability that Parker had back in the summer. You can find both of those videos linked below.