Joe Barry and the Packers’ defense continues to struggle — yet there is no optimism for change anytime soon — and that’s disheartening for Pack fans.
On Sunday, the Packers defense, once again, allowed an opposing offense to put up historic numbers against them. Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield became the first visiting quarterback ever to post a perfect passer rating at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers is the only other quarterback to do that, period.
Of course, the reaction from fans and media alike was to point the finger at defensive coordinator Joe Barry, who has long been held in disdain by the fan base. Despite the defense’s inability to get stops when it has mattered most (i.e., the NFL Playoffs), head coach Matt LaFleur has remained loyal to Barry.
Pat McAfee & Company Shred Joe Barry
On Monday’s episode of the Pat McAfee show, one of Pat’s cohosts went into a scathing rant about Barry and the Packers defense.
“It’s not the offense, it really isn’t. I feel like Jordan Love has looked good, they have the youngest offense — by a wide margin — in the NFL,” Ty Schmit began.
"Nothing ever changes with the Packers defense..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) December 18, 2023
Schmit then went into a full-on attack aimed at Joe Barry.
“But it’s like one week, you can’t stop the run. And then you have Baker Mayfield — who I like, I root for him to do well — but for him to go in there, starting the game 11-for-11.. Nothing ever changes.
I don’t understand why you hold loyalty to this guy when he clearly sucks at his job. He’s dog shit. He has been from the day he got hired, he was dog shit at his two previous jobs.”
It’s fair to note McAfee’s crew presents a solid point. In both Washington and LA (Barry’s two stops before coming to Green Bay, his defenses finished in the bottom quarter of the league. Yet still, LaFleur brought him in due to familiarity.
“He should have never gotten the job in the first place, he won’t fire him because that’s the way it goes. I fully expect Joe Barry to be back next year. It’s groundhogs day over and over again.
You can’t rely on the defense ever, you haven’t been able to rely on the defense since AJ played, which was what, 12 years ago and they won a Super Bowl. It’s a joke, but nothing is ever going to change, so there’s no point in getting pissed off about it.”
Matt LaFleur Not Ready To Part Ways With Joe Barry
Packers’ head coach Matt LaFlfeur has been vocal about his frustrations on defense, but still seems to think his defensive coordinator isn’t the main issue.
Still, LaFleur isn’t convinced that defensive coordinator Barry is part of the problem. Here are a couple of questions and answers from his post-game presser on Sunday:
Reporter: Matt, would you ever consider an in-season change at coordinator?
LaFleur: Yeah, now’s not the time for that to be honest with you.
Reporter: Why is that?
LaFleur: ‘Cause now is not the time. I’m trying to find solutions and I gotta go back and take a look at the film.
Reporter: Matt, I totally understand what you’re trying to do with your answers. We keep asking defensive questions. When you say that you have to “look at the film,” are you saying that you have to look at it to decide how you fix things or you have to look at it to evaluate whether or not you want to keep your staff the way it is?
LaFleur: Right now, we’re looking for solutions. So, I want to go back to it and as soon as we leave here I’m going to go right into my office and get to work on that.
It’s more than obvious Barry has been a major liability as the Packers’ defensive coordinator — and while it would be stunning for the fan base if he is kept on staff again following this season — nobody would be shocked.
There are plenty of solid replacements, willing and ready. We shall see how it plays out.