Packers: Bears hire Mike Pettine as senior defensive assistant

Green Bay Packers, Mike Pettine16 080218 Packers Camp 20057
Green Bay Packers, Mike Pettine16 080218 Packers Camp 20057 /

It didn’t take long for former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to find a new role.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, just weeks after the Packers and Pettine parted ways as his contract expired, he has now been hired by the rival Chicago Bears as a senior defensive assistant.

After deciding not to re-sign Pettine, the Packers hired Joe Barry as their new defensive coordinator.

There’s no doubt the Packers have taken a risk by hiring Barry, whose previous runs as defensive coordinator with the Detroit Lions and Washington Football Team didn’t go all too well. That included the winless season with the Lions in 2008.

It was, without question, time for Green Bay to make a change at defensive coordinator, but in fairness to Pettine, he did get some big improvements from the defense in the final stretch of the 2020 season. At the end of the year, the defense ranked ninth overall.

But with struggles against the run for a season-and-a-half, including one of the worst run defense performances in recent memory in last year’s NFC title game, as well as too often sitting off receivers on third-and-short this past season, the Packers decided to make a change.

While Pettine won’t be running Chicago’s defense, the Bears will be hoping having worked closely with Matt LaFleur’s offense, he will be able to give some clues to his new team. They are going to need it after Matt Nagy’s team fell to 0-4 against the Packers since LaFleur took over as head coach in 2019.

Hopefully Pettine’s advice will include giving Packers receivers plenty of cushion on third-and-short, especially Davante Adams.

Just as Green Bay is making a fresh start with its defensive coaching staff, Chicago is also hoping some changes will be able to help its performances improve next year.