The Green Bay Packers fell to 3-6 after their Week 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite the offense looking much better, especially in the first half, Green Bay was only able to muster 19 points while the defense allowed over 200 yards rushing and 23 points.
During and after the game, many fans and analysts once again pointed to the incredibly flawed scheme/coaching of defensive coordinator Joe Barry. On his “Go Dads Go podcast, Packers Hall of Famer Gilbert Brown was exasperated by the play of the defense, particularly the defensive line. “The mistakes they are making are fixable,” he said, “And I know how to fix them.”
Which begs the question: why can’t Barry figure out how to fix the defense? Head coach Matt LaFleur was asked about the defense’s struggles, including the terrible run defense and using edge rushers as cornerbacks in some packages. His response left many in with a bad taste in their mouths.
Green Bay Packers Coach Calls Criticism of the Defense Comical
On Monday, LaFleur was asked if he was happy with his defensive personnel, even though they gave up 205 yards rushing and could not get off the field late in the game. He was also asked if he was happy with outside linebackers being used in coverage with just two defensive linemen.
LaFleur called these criticisms “baffling” and “comical” and that people “expose themselves” when they use such critiques:
Matt LaFleur said it’s baffling, comical and people expose themselves — all his exact words — when people critique the Packers for having “two down linemen” defending the run in nickel because OLBs in nickel are defensive ends and therefore, are down linemen.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) November 13, 2023
As one might have thought, both Packers fans and content creators did not take LaFleur’s answer (and attitude) well, especially since it came across as defense of defensive coordinator Joe Barry.
Green Bay Packers Fans Clap Back at Matt LaFleur
It is one thing to defend your assistant coach. It’s an entirely different think to insult the intelligence of reporters, fans, and content creators. Sure, LaFleur has probably forgotten more about football than any of them/us will ever learn; but that does not take away the validity of the question. Nor does it excuse the arrogance in his answer.
Anyways, fans and content creators voiced their displeasure with the LaFleur’s answer on social media:
If only the Packers got as passionate about their defense as Matt LaFleur did about defending Joe Barry’s tiny personnel
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) November 14, 2023
Did Matt LaFleur smugly pander a reporter, endorse the scheme and rid all coaches of blame – while throwing his players under the bus?
Or was he just answering a specific question about Nickle D and how it’s supposed to work?
— Tyler (@TylerHerrick) November 13, 2023
This is pathetic by the HC. A terrible look by a man who should already be looking critically at himself and his process. Instead, he’s saying “we good”. That’s insulting to me. I own a TV and watch this every week. It ain’t us that suck here, coach. Try again https://t.co/yZNuvu6yD1
— Jason Perone (@JasonPerone) November 13, 2023
You can call your players whatever you want to, but when the call is to lineup only 3 defenders between the tackles on the 4 yard line don’t clutch your pearls when they run untouched up the middle into the end zone. https://t.co/0ZBP16OCiR pic.twitter.com/psZN0WEYUw
— Ken Ingalls – Packers Cap 💰 (@KenIngalls) November 14, 2023
Seeing mlf keeping Barry around is “baffling, comical, and he’s exposing himself” https://t.co/FX8brQwksh
— Ama Deisel (@amar3455) November 13, 2023
— Rich (@richjmadrid) November 13, 2023
As one can see, it was not a popular answer. One has to wonder how much good will LaFleur will have left if he keeps defending his defensive coordinator like this.