The coaching cycle is a busy one in the NFL during this time of the year, and one familiar name has popped up: Mike Pettine. The former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator, who was widely criticized for his skeptical playcalling in the playoffs, spent the 2022 season with the Minnesota Vikings.
Now, Minnesota is interviewing Mike Pettine for the defensive coordinator position after they fired Ed Donatell after losing to the New York Giants (h/t Ian Rapoport of NFL Network).
The #Vikings are interviewing Mike Pettine, the former #Packers DC and current assistant head coach, for their vacant DC job, source said. Brian Flores, the #Steelers senior defensive assistant and LBs coach, has his Minnesota interview tomorrow.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 25, 2023
Pettine was let go by the Packers in January of 2021 and was then hired by the Chicago Bears as a defensive assistant. However, once Matt Nag was fired, new Bears HC Matt Eberflus didn’t bring back Pettine, and he joined the Vikings as a defensive assistant for first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell.
Minnesota’s defense finished second-to-last in the NFL in total yards allowed, and if that weren’t bad enough, they were tied for third-worst with 25.5 points allowed per game.
Another candidate the Vikings are bringing in is former Miami Dolphins HC Brian Flores, who has been a popular name in this head coaching cycle and could land in Arizona.
Pettine did improve the Packers’ defense when he first got the job, but his playoff performances left a lot to be desired. Another reason this is surprising is that Pettine was on the Vikings’ defensive staff all season, which isn’t promising considering they were toward the bottom of the league in quite a few categories.
It appears Mike Pettin enjoys being in the NFC North.