Joe Barry is willing to change things up
Talent on the defensive side of the ball was supposed to be showcased for the 2022 Green Bay Packers team. They’ve been underwhelming thus far in a league where defensive numbers overall have improved from last year. The results so far have reporters and fans asking about the job status of defensive coordinator Joe Barry.
Barry has been criticized for his defensive scheme. Players and fans feel like Barry should allow the defense to play more aggressively with their coverage. Barry has been adamant in weeks prior that zone coverage was the Packers’ scheme. According to a report by Rob Demovsky with ESPN this week, Packers players are growing frustrated with Barry’s defense.
During Thursday’s press conference, a beat reporter asked Barry if he’d be willing to shake things up. Barry was explicitly asked if the Packers would consider moving safety Darnell Savage to the nickel cornerback position. According to Matt Schneidman with The Athletic, Barry said Savage would play the nickel position well. However, the Packers would need another safety, and the Packers hadn’t considered placing Rasul Douglas in Savage’s place. An odd admission as Douglas had practiced at safety during training camp.
Joe Barry: "I think Darnell Savage would be an unbelievable nickel."
Barry says if Savage played nickel, he'd need another safety. Says they haven't thought about putting Rasul Douglas at safety. Douglas practiced at safety a tad during camp.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) November 3, 2022
Savage has been bad at safety this year
It’s a move the Packers should at least consider. Savage has looked out of position on a lot of plays this season. Packers fans frustrated with his poor play were begging for the team to trade him before Tuesday’s deadline.
They might have had a point. According to Pro Football Focus, Savage has an overall rating of 46.4 this season. His run defense rates at 52.1, and his pass coverage rating is 45.2 through the first eight weeks. Savage missed three tackles against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football this past weekend. Savage had better season grades by PFF during his first two seasons with the Packers. He started slipping when Joe Barry took over the reins as the defensive coordinator.
Barry seems not to be getting the best out of his players this season. In this case, is it Barry? Or Savage?