With six NFL franchises already announcing defensive coordinator hires during the 2024 offseason, some Green Bay Packers fans are starting to feel a little bit of anxiety about the team’s defensive coordinator search. When you look at the defensive coordinator market, and who the Packers are targeting, though, it’s pretty clear that Green Bay isn’t “missing out” on candidates just because their search is taking a little bit more time than others.
At the moment, five teams are reportedly still interviewing defensive coordinator candidates as of January 31st: the Packers, Los Angeles, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and Tennessee Titans. That doesn’t include the likes of the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks, who should all be in the market after the recent turn in the coaching carousel, but you get the picture. Those teams are going into the defensive coordinator market even later than the Packers, so the length of Green Bay’s search is a non-factor there.
Among the six defensive coordinators who have been hired this offseason, only one — Bobby Babich of the Buffalo Bills — was a candidate whom the Packers reportedly interviewed for their opening. Even then, Babich was an internal candidate for the Bills, meaning that he might have waited out for Buffalo’s offer even if presented with the job by Green Bay.
So who is left on the Packers’ list of candidates and which other teams are interested in those coaches? I’m glad you asked.
Two coaches, Zach Orr (inside linebackers coach, Baltimore Ravens) and Christian Parker (defensive backs coach, Denver Broncos) have only had interviews with the Packers, among teams actively interviewing for a defensive coordinator. Parker interviewed with the New England Patriots earlier this month, but the job went to internal candidate DeMarcus Covington.
The three other candidates that the Packers have interviewed — Brandon Staley (former Los Angeles Chargers head coach), Aden Durde (defensive line, Dallas Cowboys) and Dennard Wilson (defensive backs, Baltimore Ravens) — all also have set up interviews with the Los Angeles Rams. If you want to know how strong the linkage between Rams head coach Sean McVay and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is, just look at the similarities in their coordinator searches.
Beyond the Rams, Staley has interviewed with the Miami Dolphins and Wilson has interviewed with both the New York Giants and Tennessee Titans. Durde also interviewed with the Falcons, before Atlanta hired Jimmy Lake as their defensive coordinator earlier this week.
So are the Packers missing out on potential defensive coordinator options by not handing out a quick offer instead of going with an extended search? You might be able to make the case that maybe that was true for Babich, a first-time defensive coordinator himself, but everyone else is still on the board. Unless you see a flurry of defensive coordinator hires from teams like the Rams, Ravens and Seahawks plucking off candidates that the Packers have previously interviewed, there’s no reason to panic — yet.