While Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur did state he did not foresee much change in his coaching staff in 2023, he may not have much of a choice. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Jerry Gray is close to an agreement with the Atlanta Falcons to join their coaching staff.
The #Falcons are working on a deal with veteran defensive coach Jerry Gray to join new coordinator Ryan Nielsen, sources say. Gray, who has been with the #Packers the past three seasons as DBs coach/pass game coordinator, coached with Arthur Smith in Washington 2007-08.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 29, 2023
As Garafolo notes, Gray has been the Packers’ defensive backs coach for the past three seasons. In 2022, he also was the team’s passing game coordinator on defense.
Jerry Gray’s Contract Situation with the Packers
Prior to joining LaFleur’s staff in Green Bay, Gray was the defensive backs coach with the Minnesota Vikings. Gray joined the Packers in 2020, signing a three-year contract with Green Bay. After the Packers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Detroit Lions in Week 18, Gray’s contract ran out. While the team may have loved to have him return, there were no reported talks between Gray and the team.
Gray’s Work with the Green Bay Packers
It is notable that Jaire Alexander has made two Pro Bowls and been named Second Team All-Pro twice under the tutelage of Jerry Gray. The only season in which he did not was 2021 when he missed all but four games due to a season-ending shoulder injury. Gray has also done phenomenal work coaching Rasul Douglas and Eric Stokes. Douglas resurrected his career and turned a magical 2021 season into a multi-year contract with the Packers. Stokes had a standout rookie season in 2021, allowing a completion percentage less than 50% when targeted.
Jerry Gray’s Coaching Career
Per Garafolo’s report, Gray will not be taking the role of defensive coordinator on the Falcons’ staff. Instead, he will be in a supporting role for new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielson. It is possible that Gray will serve in a similar capacity as he did in Green Bay,
Of course, Gray does have experience as a defensive coordinator himself. He served as the Buffalo Bill’s defensive coordinator from 2001-2005 and the Tennessee Titans’ defensive coordinator from 2011-2013. Gray has also served as a defensive backs coach for the Commanders, Seahawks, and Vikings.