Defensive Coordinator Candidates

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Dantés

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As Mike Pettine does not need to be fired, but rather could just be allowed to walk given that his contract has expired, I am optimistic that the Packers are gearing up to make a change.

So I am hopefully getting ahead of things a bit here and wanted to a create a thread to discuss replacement candidates.

Here are my favorites.
  • Chris Hewitt, Pass Defense Coordinator, Ravens: After stints at Notre Dame and Rutgers, the Ravens hired Hewitt to be their DB's coach in 2012. In 2020, he came their pass defense coordinator. The Ravens were 5th in pressure % and 7th in QB Rating allowed, despite not getting lucky with lots of turnovers (they were bottom 5 in INT %). I've heard really good things about him.
  • Ejiro Evero, Safeties, Rams: @Fredrik87 brought this guy up and I really like what I see. Evero's excellent work with safeties has been evident in LA, but he also has a cool background in terms of guys he's worked under: Monte Kiffin, Jim Bates, Vic Fangio, Dom Capers, Wade Phillips, and Brandon Staley. So his pedigree is strong and the results of his work with his position group speaks for itself. He would be about as likely as anyone to be able to successful coach Fangio's system that's been so successful lately.
  • Mike Caldwell, Linebackers, Buccaneers: Worked under Jim Johnson and Sean McDermott in Philly and was the LB coach for Bowles in both Arizona and Tampa Bay, where they had some really strong defenses. Kacy Rodgers is the other TB name out there; he could be a better option for all I know, but his background is with DL, and LB coaches tend to succeed as coordinators more often.
  • Dave Borgonzi, Linebackers, Colts: Worked under Lovie Smith and Mike Smith in Tampa Bay before becoming Eberflus's LB coach in Indianapolis. Has done pretty solid work with their linebackers over the last three seasons.
  • Steve Russ, Linebackers, Washington: Russ has previous defensive coordinator experience at Air Force, and has been a LB coach under Rivera since 2018. Rivera is a great mentor both in defensive football and leadership.
 
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Snoops

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What’s your thoughts on kris Richard?
 

Dantés

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What’s your thoughts on kris Richard?

He seemed like a rising star and then the hype just seemed to dry up.

After Garrett was fired, he was let go and couldn't find more than a DB's coach offer. He refused to go back to being a position coach, so he sat out of football in 2020.

He's a really murky candidate to me in a lot of ways.

1. He was highly successful as a DC in Seattle, but how much of that was Carroll? A number of guys have come off that Seattle defensive coaching tree, and they haven't been all that impressive (Bradley, Quinn). That system hasn't done much outside of Seattle, and even in Seattle it's begun to peter out.

2. Dallas' scoring defense was virtually identical in 2017 (before Richard arrive) and in 2018-19 (while he was there). So it's hard to see a tangible impact of his arrival.

3. Dallas' defense declined dramatically in 2020, after he left. But Marinelli also left, so it's hard to discern what really caused the drop off.

4. Why did the hype just disappear? He got a lot of interviews there for a while. Do teams not like him?

5. What does it say about him that he was unwilling to take a position coach gig and keep working in 2020?

I am not opposed to the idea, but there are too many question marks for me to feel strong about him.
 

tynimiller

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Hewitt and Russ are on my short list as well. Let me add an intriguing one:

Aubrey Pleasant

Currently is with MLF friend Sean McVay operating in the capacity of DB coach for the Rams. Pleasant also worked under Phillips from 17-19, a solid defensive mind and also a candidate I've heard tossed out there. Pleasant is 34 and most definitely an ascending name in the NFL pegged as a DC of the future for sure - it merely when does a team throw their chips and money to him. I say we do it and he is my personal choice.
 

Dantés

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Hewitt and Russ are on my short list as well. Let me add an intriguing one:

Aubrey Pleasant

Currently is with MLF friend Sean McVay operating in the capacity of DB coach for the Rams. Pleasant also worked under Phillips from 17-19, a solid defensive mind and also a candidate I've heard tossed out there. Pleasant is 34 and most definitely an ascending name in the NFL pegged as a DC of the future for sure - it merely when does a team throw their chips and money to him. I say we do it and he is my personal choice.

Pleasant would be up there for me, but he just signed a contract with the Lions as their DB's coach and Pass Defense Coordinator.
 

tynimiller

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Pleasant would be up there for me, but he just signed a contract with the Lions as their DB's coach and Pass Defense Coordinator.

Oh crap that's right, I believe I was the one that even told someone that. That sucks.

I say we call and offer him DC role anyways. LOL
 

tynimiller

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I mean to be fair Wade Phillips really wouldn't be a terrible nod...worth a call to see how he feels about it, get a feel for the fit from our perspective.
 

tynimiller

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Leonhard needs to have his phone ring, even though I think he turns it down, but that phone better ring.
 

GleefulGary

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He seemed like a rising star and then the hype just seemed to dry up.

After Garrett was fired, he was let go and couldn't find more than a DB's coach offer. He refused to go back to being a position coach, so he sat out of football in 2020.

He's a really murky candidate to me in a lot of ways.

1. He was highly successful as a DC in Seattle, but how much of that was Carroll? A number of guys have come off that Seattle defensive coaching tree, and they haven't been all that impressive (Bradley, Quinn). That system hasn't done much outside of Seattle, and even in Seattle it's begun to peter out.

2. Dallas' scoring defense was virtually identical in 2017 (before Richard arrive) and in 2018-19 (while he was there). So it's hard to see a tangible impact of his arrival.

3. Dallas' defense declined dramatically in 2020, after he left. But Marinelli also left, so it's hard to discern what really caused the drop off.

4. Why did the hype just disappear? He got a lot of interviews there for a while. Do teams not like him?

5. What does it say about him that he was unwilling to take a position coach gig and keep working in 2020?

I am not opposed to the idea, but there are too many question marks for me to feel strong about him.

Smarter people than I have postulated on the Twitters that the system he runs (C3) is on the downhill trajectory in the NFL.
 

Dantés

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Smarter people than I have postulated on the Twitters that the system he runs (C3) is on the downhill trajectory in the NFL.

It's become so prominent that every offense in the NFL has an ever growing package of Cover 3 beaters. So the only guys who will continue to excel who come from that background are the ones who continue to evolve.

It's the same thing as we've talked about with LaFleur. The offensive tree that he branches from is now almost in a third of NFL teams. Defenses will adjust to the basics of it. The only guys that will continue succeeding are the ones who have the talent to grow past what currently exists.
 

ARPackFan

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Here are my favorites.
  • Chris Hewitt, PDC, Ravens: After stints at Notre Dame and Rutgers, the Ravens hired Hewitt to be their DB's coach in 2012. In 2020, he came their pass defense coordinator. The Ravens were 5th in pressure % and 7th in QB Rating allowed, despite not getting lucky with lots of turnovers (they were bottom 5 in INT %). I've heard really good things about him.
Any coach associated with the Ravens defense gets my attention. Baltimore also runs 3-4 as their base defense.
 

Poppa San

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GleefulGary

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Gerald Alexander - Miami DB coach.

Young, well respected, well liked. He might not really be ready, but he’s a stud and I like him. Been good everywhere he’s been.
 

tynimiller

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Gerald Alexander - Miami DB coach.

Young, well respected, well liked. He might not really be ready, but he’s a stud and I like him. Been good everywhere he’s been.


Intriguing candidate, had zero clue on him before.
 

Mondio

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My initial thought was someone they're familiar with and thought of Gray. I'd be surprised if he didn't get a shot at it.
 

barbpackerfan

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As Mike Pettine does not need to be fired, but rather could just be allowed to walk given that his contract has expired, I am optimistic that the Packers are gearing up to make a change.

So I am hopefully getting ahead of things a bit here and wanted to a create a thread to discuss replacement candidates.

Here are my favorites.
  • Chris Hewitt, PDC, Ravens: After stints at Notre Dame and Rutgers, the Ravens hired Hewitt to be their DB's coach in 2012. In 2020, he came their pass defense coordinator. The Ravens were 5th in pressure % and 7th in QB Rating allowed, despite not getting lucky with lots of turnovers (they were bottom 5 in INT %). I've heard really good things about him.
  • Steve Russ, LBs, Washington: Russ has previous defensive coordinator experience at Air Force, and has been a LB coach under Rivera since 2018. Rivera is a great mentor both in defensive football and leadership.
  • Teryl Austin, Secondar, Steelers: Austin is a "retread" but at one time he was considered a really hot coaching candidate. Things fell apart on him in Detroit, but we all know that it's really hard to succeed with the Lions. He has the experience and past performance necessary that we could expect him to do a good job.
  • Jerod Mayo, ILBs, Patriots: This hire would be a big swing. Mayo is only 34 and has only coached two seasons. Plus, I typically don't like hiring off of the BB tree. But the buzz around Mayo being a rising star has been consistent for a while now, so it may end up being a boom hire.
Leonhard needs to have his phone ring, even though I think he turns it down, but that phone better ring.
 

barbpackerfan

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I think Leonhard would be a great pick for defensive coordinator! A former Badger--- don't You think He might want to coach a Packer defense??? Maybe bring some great former Badger players with Him-- like the Watt Brothers. I know wishful thinking. lol
 

Dantés

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Leonard's interest would likely depend on where he sees his future. If he wants to be in the NFL, it would make sense. If he wants to coach college, then he's not going anywhere.
 

longtimefan

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Leonard's interest would likely depend on where he sees his future. If he wants to be in the NFL, it would make sense. If he wants to coach college, then he's not going anywhere.


LSU mayBhave reached out for him as dc
 
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