The Green Bay Packers are going to look incredibly different in 2023 than they did in 2022, and hopefully it is for the better. Of course, the Packers are going forward with Jordan Love instead of Aaron Rodgers and they have a plethora of first and second year wide receivers instead of veterans Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb (both of whom followed Rodgers to the Jets). However, perhaps the biggest change that needs to be seen in 2023 is a vastly improved defense. Green Bay currently has eight former first round picks on their defense, and to say they have underperformed would be an understatement.
That is why NFL analyst Mina Kimes stated on ESPN’s “NFL Live” that Joe Barry, not Jordan Love, should be under the most pressure to succeed in 2023.
Mina Kimes Says Green Bay Packers Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry Is on the Hot Seat
Joe Barry was not the Packers’ first choice for defensive coordinator. That would have been former Wisconsin Badgers coach Jim Leonhard who turned the job down. Barry has been a less-than-adequate secondary option as the Packers’ defense has been inconsistent at best during his tenure. ESPN’s Mina Kimes had some strong opinions on Barry’s standing at 1265 Lombardi Avenue and how he has handled the talent he has been given:
The Packers defense has *eight* first round draft picks, compared to one on offense: Jordan Love.
The young QB isn’t under the most pressure next year—their DC is. pic.twitter.com/CUJnFvQ2ab
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) May 5, 2023
“I totally agree with the offense being able to take pressure off of Love. I also think that Love should be under significantly less pressure than the defense, which deserves far more scrutiny, consuming far more of the cap as Rodgers as off the books. Also WAY more draft capital, obviously, as we saw that theme continue with that first round pick.
“I want you to look at the investment of first round picks in Green Bay. On the offense, it’s Jordan Love. On the defense, it’s eight players, of course the most recent being Van Ness. And despite that investment, which again is financial as well, this is a defense that finished last year 26th in EPA per play, 28th in in yards per play.
“Telling it like it is, the loss of Rashan Gary really hurt the pass rush. But a ton of it was execution, bad situational football, playing that soft zone coverage that infuriated me in the first half of the season.
“I think that, while they did clean up some of that as the year went on, I think that’s why defensive coordinator Joe Barry still has his job, but he’s on the hot seat and I would argue that the entire defense is under more pressure than the quarterback to live up to all that expenditure.”
To be certain, the Packers have certainly used enough first round picks to have a top five defense in the NFL. Aside from Darnell Savage, who has struggled in the last two seasons (ironically, once Barry became defensive coordinator), they are all considered pretty good players.
If the defense continues to struggle, well, I’m not even sure Joe Barry makes it through the season.
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