The Green Bay Packers are retaining Mike Pettine for 2020.
Following Matt LaFleur’s season-ending press conference earlier in the day, it didn’t sound too good for defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
When asked about Pettine’s future, LaFleur responded by saying they were “still working through everything right now”.
Well, it looks like he has worked through everything. According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, the Packers are retaining Pettine for the 2020 season. It will be Pettine’s third season in Green Bay, which allows the team to maintain some continuity.
It’s going to be interesting to see whether this turns out to be the right call. You can certainly argue the defense improved with the addition of Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Adrian Amos, Darnell Savage and Rashan Gary.
But, equally, an argument can be made that despite the addition of talent at positions of need, the defense didn’t make the strides it should have in 2019.
In 2018, the Packers finished No. 18 in total defense (354.4 yards per game), No. 12 against the pass (234.5 ypg), and No. 22 against the run (119.9 ypg).
In 2019, the Packers finished No. 18 in total defense (352.6 ypg), No. 14 against the pass (232.6 ypg), and No. 23 against the run (120.1 ypg).
In 2018, Green Bay’s defense made 44 sacks. In 2019, they finished with 41 sacks.
One area they did clearly improve was points allowed per game. In 2018, they allowed 25 points per game. That improved to 19.6 in 2019.
What was clear this season was that there are still areas on the defense that need to be improved in the offseason. Inside linebacker is a position of need this spring, and the Packers could look for some more help up front along the defensive line.
LaFleur may still decide to make changes to the coaching staff, but we now know that Mike Pettine will be back for his third season with the Packers in 2020.