The Packers will have a familiar running the defense in Matt LaFleur’s first year as head coach. On Friday the team announced they will bring back defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
Earlier in the day LaFleur said on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Radio that he would be bringing back Pettine.
“I think we share a common vision, and I am really excited to see this defense take off in year two of his system. I think that continuity just for the players to be able to perform, usually in year two, it definitely is going to improve, and also the thing that was so attractive about Mike to me was, here’s a guy that’s been a head coach in the National Football League, and it’s going to be somebody that I can lean on because there’s going to be certain circumstances that come up that, hey, maybe I haven’t been through, so really excited to have Mike a part of our staff,” said LaFleur.
Prior to being introduced as the head coach, it was reported that LaFleur had identified Pettine as a potential defensive coordinator during the interview process. LaFleur later said during Wednesday’s press conference that he had spoken with Pettine, but intended to soon.
Friday the announcement came that Pettine would be retained for the following season.
Pettine led a Packers defense that finished eighth overall in sacks. That’s despite losing most of the starting defensive line to injury. Green Bay was also improved in pass defense, finishing 2018 ranked 12th in the league with 234.5 yards per game. That unit was also banged up for much of the season and saw some turnover in the secondary with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix being traded at the deadline.