Packers to hire Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers are turning over their coaching staff, and they’ve reportedly found a defensive coordinator.

After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008 (Aaron Rodgers’ first year as a starter), the Green Bay Packers are experiencing some major turnover. As it relates to on the field, Mike McCarthy has turned over his coaching staff on virtually all levels.

The overdue firing of defensive coordinator Dom Capers finally came this year, and since then the Packers have had particular rumored interest in Vic Fangio and Gus Bradley to replace him. But Bradley will stay with the Los Angeles Chargers as defensive coordinator, and Fangio may remain with the Chicago Bears as defensive coordinator under new head coach Matt Nagy.

McCarthy went with a former head coach when hiring Capers as his defensive coordinator in 2009. He’s going back to that well now, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting Mike Pettine will be Green Bay’s new defensive coordinator.

Pettine spent this season with the Seattle Seahawks as a defensive consultant. He’s from the Rex Ryan coaching tree, as linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens (2005-2008) and defensive coordinator for the New York Jets (2009-2012). He coordinated top-10 defenses in all four of those years under Ryan with the Jets, as well as in his lone season as Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator in 2013.

Pettine spent two seasons (2014, 2015) as head coach of the Cleveland Browns, with a 10-22 record. In light of the franchise’s history since 1999, the 7-9 mark in 2014 looks like a relative work of magic.

Pettine is sure to keep the base 3-4 scheme the Packers deployed under Capers, so there’s some continuity there for better or worse that won’t require a dramatic shift in personnel. But Pettine’s defense, like Ryan’s and Capers’, tends to rely heavily on blitzing and capable press man cover corners.

With that, the players the Packers have who were not fully equipped to run Capers’ defense are in line for some of the same issues under Pettine. But good coaches adjust what they do to fit the players, and Pettine has been a good defensive coordinator.

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