Packers DC Joe Barry
The ousting of former Green Bay Packers Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry was not unexpected, but it has two potential impacts on the LA Rams search for a new defensive coordinator. The first effect is the addition of another NFL team that is in the market for a new DC. And the second effect is that a veteran defensive coordinator, with ties to the LA Rams, is back on the market.
Some have linked Barry to the Rams, and that makes some sense. Barry boasts a long and accomplished coaching career in the NFL on the defensive side of the football, and he was one of the founding members of the LA Rams coaching staff that was formed when the Rams hired HC Sean McVay. Because McVay was so very young, Barry was dubbed the Assistant Head Coach for McVay from 2017-2020, as well as linebackers coach. When the Rams hired Raheem Morris as the new defensive coordinator to take over for Brandon Staley, Barry bolted to the Green Bay Packer to become their defensive coordinator from 2021-2023.
Over that time, the Packers defense ranked 24th in yards and 14th in points (2021), 17th in yards and 17th in points (2022), and 17th in yards and 10th in points (2023). So, on paper, the Packers defense was certainly trending in the right way.
But offensive head coaches tend to have a higher threshold for their defensive coordinators, and Packers HC Matt LaFleur hails from the offensive side of the ball. The problem from the Packers' perspective was not the overall performance of Barry's defense. Rather, Packers fans were irate from the sense that the Packers defense struggled to level up their game plan and performance against opponents at key moments of their season.
The other straw that broke the Packers' back and their relationship with Joe Barry as the defensive coordinator is that their last four first-round picks have been on the defensive side of the football. That lack of leveling up and a failure to develop key players ultimately sank Barry's relationship with the Packers.
But will that same reputation torpedo his chances with the LA Rams? As of right now, the Rams have not been reported as interviewing Barry. And in my opinion, I don't see that situation happening in this cycle of coaching hires.