Packers coach Matt LaFleur may have hinted at Joe Barry's replacement

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The Green Bay Packers should've hired Ejiro Evero instead of Joe Barry in 2021. They may get another chance in the offseason.

Evero interviewed for the defensive coordinator job after the Packers moved on from Mike Pettine, but Matt LaFleur chose Barry.

While Barry's defense has underperformed year after year in Green Bay, Evero has done an outstanding job as defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers have only won two games this season, but Evero's defense is among the best in the league. Carolina ranks third in total defense and third in passing defense. According to ESPN, they rank 13th in both pass rush and run block win rate.

That's incredible, considering Carolina's offense is averaging 14.7 points per game and regularly puts Evero's defense in tough situations.

It was a similar story last year in Denver. Despite all of the problems that Broncos team had, Evero's defense stepped up. Denver ranked seventh in total defense, 12th in passing defense, and 10th in rushing defense.

If the Panthers bring in a new defensive coordinator in the offseason, the Packers may get another opportunity to hire Evero as Barry's replacement.

Matt LaFleur praises potential Joe Barry replacement Ejiro Evero

LaFleur's offense will come up against Evero's defense in Week 16. Ahead of the game, LaFleur had high praise for the work Evero has done with the Panthers defense.

"He's done a hell of a job. You saw it a year ago in Denver, and you see the carryover this year with a whole new group. I've got a lot of respect for Ejiro," said LaFleur. "He's a great communicator, he's demanding, he holds guys accountable. I've just got a ton of respect for what he's been able to accomplish."

If the Packers make a defensive coordinator change and Evero is available, he would have to be near the top of LaFleur's list. LaFleur knows exactly what he would be getting from an Evero-led defense.

"You see it on tape. They're very well coached. He's got a really good scheme. Nice wrinkles to it," said LaFleur. "They play very competitive on all three levels. You definitely see how hard they play. It jumps off the tape. I think they're third in total yards right now. I know they're top 10 in a lot of categories."

LaFleur wanted his defense to run a system similar to Vic Fangio's, something Barry brought to Green Bay. LaFleur compared Evero's defense to the Packers', saying "the foundation" and "a lot of the fundamental rules are very similar."

Of course, LaFleur's comments weren't about Evero replacing Barry, but it shows how highly he thinks of him and the job he has done. If the Packers move on from Barry and Evero is available, hiring him would make so much sense.

The two worked together as part of Sean McVay's coaching staff with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. LaFleur was the offensive coordinator, while Evero coached the safeties.

If the Panthers don't bring him back -- the new head coach may want to hire their own defensive coordinator -- Evero is a perfect candidate to replace Barry in 2024. LaFleur considered him for the role three years ago, and Evero has proven himself as a defensive coordinator since.

And based on LaFleur's comments, he clearly understands what an incredible job Evero has done with the Panthers and Broncos.

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