Green Bay Packers fans have not been pleased with defensive coordinator Joe Barry throughout the first month of the 2023 regular season. There is still a long way to go this season, but the run defense has not played well. The pass defense has also struggled at times.
It will be interesting to see if head coach Matt LaFleur will keep on board for the entire season or not. This is Barry’s third season with the Packers’ defense. If they miss the playoffs this season and the defense continues to struggle, who could Green Bay replace him as defensive coordinator with down the road?
The Best Possible Choice to replace Joe Barry as Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator is Jim Leonhard
Leonhard is a Wisconsin native and was the Badgers’ defensive backs coach from 2016-2022. He was also the defensive coordinator and turned down the Packers’ interest in him in 2021. He was also the interim coach in Wisconsin for parts of the 2022 season. Jim Leonhard had a really good defense that same season he turned down the job by just allowing 239.0 yards per game, which was the best in the nation.
He said at that time,
“It’s an organization, obviously being from the state, I know a lot about and have a tremendous amount of respect for the way that organization operates.”
At the current moment, he is a senior football analyst at the University of Illinois. Jim Leonhard will be one of the top names for the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator position whenever it opens up.
Frazier was the defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills and assistant head coach for the past six seasons before not coming back to Buffalo this season. He is one of the well-respected coordinators across the league. The Bills had one of the top defenses in the entire NFL under his leadership.
The Green Bay Packers would need that under him, and they can unlock this defense. The run defense would be better instantly under him. They had the best run defense a season ago and the second-scoring defense as well. Frazier will be another name to watch.
Lovie Smith was the Chicago Bears head coach from 2004-2012 and made life difficult for former Packers Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. The Green Bay Packers fanbase knows him well, and he is a great defensive mind. Smith knows this division very well.
Lovie Smith was the head coach of the Houston Texans in 2022 after being their defensive coordinator. Smith is another solid option as long as he is willing to coach.