Matt LaFleur emphasized missed tackles over defensive scheme
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur watched the Philadelphia Eagles score 40 points on his team on Sunday Night Football. It was the Packers’ last real stand to stay in the playoff chase. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s defense gave up 363 yards on the ground.
During LaFleur’s Monday press conference, he attributed the problems on defense to missed tackling. The Packers’ fourth-year head coach tallied more than 20 missed tackles on the night. Ex-Packers players and fans feel Barry’s scheme is mostly at fault for the poor defensive display this season. Reporters peppered LaFleur with several questions about making a change on defense.
LaFleur repeatedly blamed the defensive players for their performance on opportunities in situational downs. He thought players being in the wrong position wasn’t a reason why they would have missed many of their tackles. According to LaFleur, players were mostly in the correct position to make a stop.
“All you can look at, in my opinion, is are people in position to make plays. If they are, we gotta make those plays, bottom line,” LaFleur said.
When pressed about the Eagles having gaps open to run at will against the Packers, LaFleur admitted there were times the Packers’ defensive staff didn’t put their players in the right position.
On changing the defensive play-caller
LaFleur was asked if the Packers would make a change to who makes the defensive play calls after two bad showings by the defense in must-win games.
“No, no, we’re not going to go down that road,” LaFleur said. “If I thought there was an issue there, then I would certainly, we’d make the change. But we work as a staff and collectively. We’re all in this sucker together. It’s never just one person.”
LaFleur doesn’t seem interested in making a midseason change at defensive coordinator. Barry will likely be allowed to finish out the season. There’s no reason to make a change with their record sitting at 4-8. LaFleur will need to make that decision in January. After all, as he said, the Packers’ results start with him.