Joe Barry uplifts a struggling member of the secondary
The Green Bay Packers’ defense has been a disappointment this season. The defense came into 2022 with high expectations to be an elite group. It didn’t take many games before fans wanted defensive coordinator Joe Barry to be fired.
Not all of the defensive problems can be blamed on Barry. Many Packers players on defense are having a subpar year. And while the scheme isn’t helping, players are missing tackles and not putting themselves in the correct position they’re coached to be in.
One player who has received heavy criticism this season is safety Darnell Savage. During his Friday press conference, Barry was asked by beat reporters about Savage’s fall from grace this season. (Savage was benched against the Philadelphia Eagles. He would play three snaps before sustaining an injury.)
Barry answered a question about Savage moving from safety to the nickelback before eventually ending up at the dimeback position. (Going to dimeback is a significant demotion for Savage, as it’s the lowest position on the secondary when they put out six defensive backs.) Barry gave words of encouragement to the former first-round pick.
“I still totally believe in Darnell Savage,” Barry said. “I think he’s, and we’re built on competition; everything that we we do every single day, we’re built on that. I think the more people that you have that you can play and you can deploy, the better.”
Barry said Savage had had three excellent practices this week after coming off a perfectly timed bye.
Savage needs to play better
According to Pro Football Focus, Savage is playing the worst football of his four-year career this season. His overall PFF grade this season is 46.5, heading into Week 15. Savage’s best seasons were his first two when Barry wasn’t calling the plays. He’s the perfect example of a player that the Packers don’t know if their problem is him or Barry. Even with the scheme not in Savage’s favor, he has missed makeable plays. He’ll need to show signs of progress in the next four weeks.
lmao Darnell Savage just goes flying out of bounds pic.twitter.com/fBNyaLMEjI
— Nathan (@NathanJH31) October 31, 2022