GREEN BAY, Wis. — Matt LaFleur wasted no time backing defensive coordinator Joe Barry on Monday whilst frustrations mounted among the many Green Bay Packers’ gamers on that aspect of the ball.
He has no plans to make a training change.
“Oh, no, completely not,” LaFleur simply hours after the Packers’ 27-17 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday evening.
The Packers’ struggles on offense had been simply predictable, contemplating they traded their greatest receiver, Davante Adams, to the Las Vegas Raiders and tried to interchange him with journeyman Sammy Watkins and three rookies who would want time to gel with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
But a protection that featured seven first-round picks and a number of other different high-priced free brokers was supposed to assist them survive till the offense discovered its manner. Instead, Barry’s unit has contributed to the Packers’ 3-5 begin.
According to sources near members of the Packers’ protection, gamers have grown annoyed with the defensive scheme and playcalling. One supply stated there was “a declining confidence within the defensive scheme and what’s being known as, and it is led to total frustration with the protection.” Another supply confirmed that sentiment.
LaFleur did not say immediately whether or not defensive gamers have shared that feeling with him or different members of the teaching workers.
“Well, to start with, it is unattainable to please everyone,” LaFleur stated. “Everybody has their very own opinions, their very own concepts. It’s like anything in life. You should get the workers on the identical web page, at the beginning, in ensuring that everyone is assured within the plan and then you definitely train it to the gamers.”
The newest defensive breakdowns got here on Sunday, when the Packers allowed the Bills to attain on 5 straight drives (three touchdowns and two discipline targets) that spanned late within the first quarter to early within the third quarter. They allowed 24 factors within the first half earlier than it tightened issues up within the second half, following a season-long sample of enjoying one good half and one dangerous one.
At one level, the coaches pulled beginning cornerback Eric Stokes from the sport in what LaFleur stated was achieved “simply to alter it up.” Stokes went again into the sport on the next defensive sequence.
“I believe we might be silly to not take heed to our gamers at sure instances,” LaFleur stated. “Ultimately, we’ve to make the perfect determination for our soccer staff when it comes to how do you go about successful the sport? You know, there have been some nice moments after which there have been some not-so-great moments. It was nice that we had been in a position to get a pair turnovers.
“I believe from a consistency standpoint, manner too many explosive positive factors, some poor tackling. I believe we have to be extra bodily. I believe you take a look at the groups which might be hardest to cope with on this league, particularly from a defensive standpoint and physicality, it jumps out to you. There had been moments the place we’re not at all times getting that.”
Barry’s hiring in January 2021 to interchange Mike Pettine got here as a little bit of a shock contemplating his observe report as a defensive coordinator. He had twice earlier than coordinated defenses (Washington 2015-16 and Detroit 2007-08) and by no means completed higher than twenty eighth within the league rankings. The 2018 Lions went 0-16.
The Packers completed ninth in whole yards allowed final season in Barry’s first yr however struggled at instances towards the run. They’re ranked one spot greater, at No. 8, by Sunday’s loss to the Bills however as soon as once more rank close to the underside of the league (twenty fifth) in dashing yards allowed per carry and have had communication breakdowns in protection which have led to explosive performs.
“There’s instances we play good soccer and instances we let it get away from us,” Packers defensive sort out Kenny Clark stated. “Whatever it’s, we received to right it. We received to determine that out. I do not actually have a solution for it.”
Said cornerback Rasul Douglas: “I do not know what it’s, however we received to do one thing to win.”
Among the gamers who’ve drawn criticism is security Darnell Savage, who was affected by missed tackles.
“He’s received to be higher in these conditions,” LaFleur stated. “We want him to, as a security, you have to clear it up. That’s one thing that we’re undoubtedly going to deal with. Darnell is aware of it, too. Everybody can see it. We’ve received to be somewhat bit higher and we have to do a greater job of drill it and placing that emphasis in that space as a result of it hasn’t been as much as the usual that we anticipate.”
Rodgers, who threw as a lot reward on the Packers’ protection as anybody within the preseason, stated the offensive struggles have not helped out these on the opposite aspect of the ball.
“We’ve received to assist our protection out somewhat higher early within the recreation,” Rodgers stated. “When we went on a run again in ’16, we began these video games quicker so we may play extra one-dimensionally on protection. We simply have not achieved that. We have not put up any factors early in video games to get our protection to have an opportunity to pin their ears again and get after the passer.”