Packers Pick Mike Pettine as Next Defensive Coordinator

The Packers will reportedly hire Mike Pettine as their next defensive coordinator, according to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.

Pettine was one of three reported external candidates for the Packers, along with Vic Fangio and Gus Bradley. Of the three, Pettine was the only candidate known to have interviewed for the job.

The Packers were also reportedly interested in current defensive coaches Winston Moss, Darren Perry, and Joe Whitt Jr. for the position, but elected to go with Pettine.

What we know about Pettine

The 51-year old Pettine most recently worked as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, where he amassed a 10-22 record from 2014 to 2015.

Prior to that, Pettine worked as the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets (2009 through 2012) and Buffalo Bills (2013), a position in which he was much more successful.

The Jets were in the top 10 in scoring defense in two of his four seasons there and top 10 in takeaways in three of his four seasons. In his lone season in Buffalo, the Bills were top 10 in takeaways as well.

Pettine’s defenses have been successful against the pass in each of his career stops so far. The Jets, Bills, and Browns fielded top 10 defenses in terms of passing yardage in all but one of Pettine’s seasons in charge.

Advanced metrics are also kind to Pettine’s defenses. Here are the DVOA rankings for each of his teams in the seasons he was defensive coordinator.:

  • 2009 - 1
  • 2010 - 5
  • 2011 - 2
  • 2012 - 9
  • 2013 - 4

The Browns ranked 29th and 30th in defensive DVOA the two seasons Pettine was the head coach.

What this means for the Packers

As with the decision at general manager, the Packers risk losing staff members as a result of their hiring decision. With Moss, Perry, and Whitt Jr. reportedly in the running for the defensive coordinator job, each could now be on their way out of town for a couple reasons.

First, it’s possible Pettine may want to bring in his own defensive staff, which would mean the Packers’ trio would be looking for new work. Though Mike McCarthy will likely have some input on Pettine’s assistants, Pettine will also be responsible for bringing in new blood as well.

Secondly, it’s possible that none of the three Green Bay assistants passed over for the defensive coordinator job will want to stay around. The Packers have sent a pretty clear message to each of these three that they only consider them an assistant-level coach (at least right now), so each may try to spread their wings elsewhere.