Joe Barry, Chris Harris, Ejiro Evero On Packers’ DC Radar

The Packers will soon replace Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator, and some early candidates emerged Sunday night. Green Bay plans to interview or already has met with new Chargers defensive passing-game coordinator Joe Barry, Washington secondary coach Chris Harris and Rams safeties coach Ejiro Evero, Rob Demovsky of reports (Twitter link).

Matt LaFleur has ties to two of these assistants. Barry, who served as Washington’s defensive coordinator from 2015-20, was with LaFleur in Los Angeles during the 2017 season. The Chargers just hired Barry from L.A., where he spent the past four seasons as the Rams’ linebackers coach. Barry interviewed for the Rams’ DC post last year, one Brandon Staley landed, and committed to follow Staley to the Chargers earlier this month.

Also overlapping with LaFleur in 2017, Evero has been on Sean McVay‘s staff throughout his tenure. He has served as Los Angeles’ safeties coach since McVay’s 2017 arrival. This marks his first known opportunity to interview for a defensive coordinator job. Evero leaving L.A. would continue a mass exodus of Rams coaches and staffers. The young assistant has a brief history with the Packers, having served as a quality control staffer with the franchise in 2016.

Harris was up for the Eagles’ DC position, but Nick Sirianni opted to hire ex-Colts coworker Jonathan Gannon for the post. Harris spent last season as Washington’s DBs coach. The former NFL safety spent the previous four seasons with the Chargers, working as their assistant secondary coach.

The Packers ended Pettine’s three-year DC tenure late this week. The former Browns HC declined an extension last year and saw his contract expire. He was a holdover from Mike McCarthy‘s final Green Bay staff. However LaFleur proceeds with Pettine’s replacement, his staff will now include three coordinators he hired.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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16 comments on “Joe Barry, Chris Harris, Ejiro Evero On Packers’ DC Radar

  1. afsooner02

    “Barry, who served as Washington’s defensive coordinator from 2015-20, was with LaFleur in Los Angeles during the 2017 season.”

    ….wait….what? Did he have 2 jobs?

    • afsooner02

      Ohhhh….I see….Washington (the person)….I thought it meant the skins DC for 5 years. Can’t delete the comment.

      • Stat_head

        Article is wrong. Berry was the DC for WFT, but only for 2 years, 2015 & 2016. He was also the DC for the Lions in 2007 & 2008 overseeing the 32nd ranked defense for both years including the 0-16 2008 season.

  2. realgritzy

    All Green Bay needs to do is look South and get Wisconsin Badger DC,
    James Andrew Leonhard,
    Problem Solved

      • Ak185

        Given that the defense is built now as a Pettine defense, and while in need of a handful of changes was not downright terrible, what is the opposition to this? What direction would you like to see instead?

        • augold5

          Why would a team with SB aspirations take a chance on a college DC with zero NFL coaching experience?? I get that he’s done good things at UW, but use some logic people!

          • Ak185

            That I can see as a reason. Unfortunately though the question now becomes what candidate represents a clear upgrade? Would one take a chance on an innovator if he couldn’t find a guaranteed success?

            • augold5

              Do you realize how many zero experience “innovators” there are across college football? The only reason packer fans are clamoring for Leonard is they are thinking with their heart and not their head. If Leonard coached for any other team but UW, no way GB fans would want him as the next DC. Sign as DB coach? Sure! But he is not ready to lead/coach a SB contending defense.

              • Ak185

                Hey, I’m not arguing against you. Just posing a question, really.

                As far as the “innovator” tag goes, I personally agree that I wouldn’t apply it to Leonard. Not that he couldn’t be, but for the reason that for someone to be considered an innovative D.C. candidate, one must first be a D.C. candidate. He probably needs some experience, and for a win-now team, it’s not the right time to get it. I’m not really posing the question in regards to Leonard himself, but more in regards to the idea of hiring a different minded coordinator in general. Just wanted a Packer fan’s perspective.

                Personally, as an observer, I’m on the fence about they should do. Do they try to keep the same scheme and upgrade a few starters? Or do they invest in the change? I think it really depends on what players they think they can acquire, but this current regime has shown an inclination to force changes to set up some sort of long term scheme that they believe in (even if it hurts them in the short term). I don’t think evidence supports them making a win-now decision to retain the defensive scheme, but it might be better to do so and try and acquire some better players at certain positions.

  3. sigmanj

    Stop with the Leonhard suggestions. The Badgers can’t afford to lose him.

  4. viercjm

    I’d hate to see UW lose Leonard, and I really don’t think it’ll happen. He played for Pettine and runs a similar D. Seems likely LaFleur will go away from Pettine’s style.

    • bravesfan88

      I wouldnt see LaFleur completely going away from a similarly ran defense really going all that well.

      Even if they weren’t a great unit last year, they were still an improving and improved unit on defense. Plus, they’re already set up to run a similar defense, it wouldnt make sense to completely switch over to a different defense, and have to readjust their roster accordingly.

      They can run a similar scheme, all they need is a new playcaller/coordinator, and they just need to make some better additions to their secondary and their depth.

      The Packers defense improved against the pass last season, but they really need to continue improving against the run.

      Idk, it just doesnt make sense to make a schematical change, when they’re already perfectly setup to run a similar style defense that can continue using the Smith brothers in similiar roles along with their DL. Like I said, they’ll be fine making some additions via free agency and the draft, and then just running a similar style attacking DEF. but having a different playcaller..

      • ARKScout

        I agree with just about everything you said, though I just thought I’d point out to you that it’s all but a certainty that one of the Smith’s, Preston Smith is all but certain to be a cap casualty. His productivity was way down in 2020 and in no way commensurate with his massive cap number. Gary far surpassed him productivity wise by seasons end and is more than ready to take over the position full time. I thought Jerry Gray, the current defensive back coach would be the front runner to take over as coordinator, though it appears they might be looking to go outside the organization. None of these names really excites me, though maybe a young and hungry albeit inexperienced coordinator is what’s needed. Though i agree that a full scheme overall is unnecessary and could be counter productive. Calls such as going cover 1 late in the first half leading to that long touchdown in the nfc title game is the reason Pettine is not being retained, not because of any issue with the overall scheme.

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