Back in January, former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry lined up two interviews: with the Chicago Bears for their defensive coordinator vacancy and with the Philadelphia Eagles for their linebackers coach position. Barry will not be landing either of those jobs, though, as NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Tuesday morning that the Miami Dolphins have made an agreement with Barry to make him the team’s next linebackers coach with a run game coordinator title.
Barry’s previous experience in the NFL as an assistant came as a linebackers coach, so this move shouldn’t be that surprising, though, the title of run game coordinator — especially after his stint in Green Bay — is a little ironic. According to Pro Football Reference, the Packers allowed 4.7 yards per carry over Barry’s three seasons in Green Bay, just shy of the Los Angeles Chargers’ league-leading 4.8 yards per carry mark over this period. It’s worth noting here that over these three years, the Chargers were led by head coach Brandon Staley, who was previously the defensive coordinator whom Barry worked as a linebackers coach for with the Los Angeles Rams.
In part due to the inability to stop the run consistently over his three years as the Packers’ defensive coordinator, Barry was replaced this offseason with former Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley, who is likely to run a more single-high safety based scheme in Green Bay. It has also been reported that all but two of Barry’s assistant coaches, pass rush specialist Jason Rebrovich and defensive backs coach Ryan Downard, will be replaced by the Packers going into the 2024 season. Downard previously worked with Hafley during their stint together with the Cleveland Browns.
Miami is also going through a period of transition on the defensive side of the ball, as their former defensive coordinator — Vic Fangio — was allowed to leave for a lateral job with the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason. Fangio was replaced by former Baltimore Ravens defensive line coach and assistant head coach Anthony Weaver.
Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel probably has some good intel on Barry, as both coaches have worked with Packers head coach Matt LaFleur and Rams head coach Sean McVay. Beyond his time as a defensive coordinator, Barry was an NFL linebackers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2001-2006, 2009), San Diego Chargers (2012-2014), Washington Redskins (2015-2016) and Los Angeles Rams (2017-2020).