The Green Bay Packers‘ decision to move on from Joe Barry has been just about as popular among fans as the initial decision to hire him was unpopular. After three long years that saw the Packers’ defense underperform despite having eight first round picks, head coach Matt LaFleur finally made the decision that a change was necessary.
In Barry’s place, the Packers hired Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley. His hiring has also meant that several Packers defensive coaches, including defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, were let go. Montgomery, who had been the longest-tenured coach in Green Bay having first been hired in 2015, recently took a job with the New England Patriots.
For Barry, his termination in Green Bay marked the end of a third failed stint as a NFL defensive coordinator. Previously, he had led the defenses of the Detroit Lions and Washington Commanders to below-average rankings and a multitude of losses.
Still, Barry remains a respected figure in NFL coaching circles for his work with linebackers. Indeed, he is known as one of the better linebacker coaches in the NFL, having coached numerous players to Pro Bowl seasons.
The Miami Dolphins Hire Former Green Bay Packers Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry
Early Tuesday morning, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that Barry has found a new position on a new team. He is being hired by the Miami Dolphins to be their linebackers coach/run game coordinator:
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 6, 2024
Of course, coaching with the Dolphins that Barry will face former Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers twice a year. Both the Dolphins and New York Jets are in the AFC East.
Joe Barry: Run Game Coordinator?
While it is not surprising to see Barry get a job as a linebackers coach, it is “interesting” that he is being hired as their run game coordinator as well. Last season, the Packers’ defense gave up more 200+ yard rushing games than any other team in the NFL.
In fact, with 128.3 rushing yards allowed per game, the Packers had the fifth-WORST rushing defense in the NFL last season. By contrast, Miami had seventh-BEST run defense in the league.
Earlier this offseason, the Dolphins mutually parted ways with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, whose style of defense Barry emulated with his scheme in Green Bay. Fangio took the defensive coordinator position with the Philadelphia Eagles.
While Barry may be able to work well with the Miami linebackers, it is difficult to see him being successful as a run game coordinator after his lack of success in that area in Green Bay. In his three seasons, the Packers run defense got progressively worse each year:
- 2021- 11th
- 2022- 26th
- 2023- 28th
We’ll see how that works out for Miami.