If Green Bay Packers fans had the opportunity, they might have moved on from defensive coordinator Joe Barry a while ago. Packers fans have been fed up with the way Barry is calling the defense, and a change at the defensive coordinator position might be a matter of "when" and not "if" at this point.
But if the Packers are going to eventually move on from Joe Barry, who do they need to have on speed dial? Are there some coaches they need to be reaching out to already? I think the answer to that question is yes.
Let's take a look at a handful of options the Green Bay Packers need to already be considering as the potential replacement for Joe Barry in the defensive coordinator spot as soon as the 2024 offseason hits.
1. Jim Leonhard
It feels like Jim Leonhard is really wasting away as a "senior football analyst" at Illinois. With all due respect to the university and Leonhard himself, it feels like Leonhard was on a trajectory to becoming a top college football head coach at the very least, if not on his way to becoming a prominent NFL defensive coach.
I still think that will ultimately be the case this coming year as Leonhard's current role as an "analyst" seems like an evaluation year on his part. Perhaps a way for "absence to make the heart grow fonder" in the eyes of potential suitors.
And the connection to the state of Wisconsin would certainly get Packers fans on board with this move. Leonhard obviously played at Wisconsin before becoming a coach there and is a Wisconsin native. It might seem like a big jump from an analyst at Illinois to defensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers, but Leonhard's resume is much more indicative of a qualified candidate.