What Matt LaFleur is saying is hurting his reputation and is making excuses for Joe Barry and it will cost him

Following a miserable performance on Monday night that put Green Bay’s defense in the firing line, the Green Bay Packers’ difficulties persisted.

Taking advantage of their weaknesses, Baker Mayfield and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers destroyed the Packers with 381 passing yards and four touchdowns. Never before has a quarterback visiting Lambeau Field completed with a perfect passing rating like Mayfield did.

When playing less explosive attacks, a troubling trend appears, even though Joe Barry’s defensive methods demonstrate resiliency against great opponents like the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers’ defense has been lacking since the beginning of the previous campaign, giving up career-best performances to quarterbacks like Daniel Jones, Zach Wilson, Bailey Zappe, Taylor Heinicke, Desmond Ridder, Kenny Pickett, Tommy DeVito, and now Mayfield.

In Matt LaFleur’s news conferences following losses, an unsettling pattern has surfaced. The defense invariably assumes a leading role and frequently appears unable to halt opposing offenses. However, LaFleur takes a respectable stand every time, taking ownership of the team’s mistakes and assigning blame to himself. Although it is commendable when a coach takes on accountability, Barry’s underachievements have unintentionally been protected by this repeated story.

LaFleur’s confidence in Barry has paid off with a number of noteworthy accomplishments. With him in charge of defense, the Packers have secured the top NFC seed. Two years previously, in the divisional round, Barry’s team also held the San Francisco 49ers to only six points, and the previous season, Green Bay was just one win away from the postseason. However, recent defensive outings by the Packers have sparked worries. They highlight a trend in which Green Bay’s defense has a lot more low points than high points. While opponents’ errors have contributed to some of the team’s success, the Packers have continuously had trouble establishing defensive dominance.

Green Bay’s pass defense has shown signs of weakness, especially in medium-to-long scenarios on third and fourth down, where opponents tend to take advantage of their mistakes. Whether opposing teams incur penalties or the pass rush secures a sack is often the deciding factor in the Packers’ performance.

However, there are moments like the one in Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons, when Desmond Ridder scored on a third-and-15 deep in his own territory, or the game against the Los Angeles Chargers, when Justin Herbert made quick work of it and reached the red zone after only two throw looks. Green Bay’s defense was unable to stop Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who was uncovered across the middle, from getting a completion, which put the Kansas City Chiefs on a third-and-18 situation. Mayfield gained 24 yards against Barry’s defense on a second-and-long play.

Despite having a front seven with four first-round picks, Eric Stokes back, and the potential effect of a healthy Jaaire Alexander, Green Bay’s defense has fallen short of expectations. The club has underachieved as a whole, while having the individual talent to rank among the top 10 defensive teams. The problems become more apparent when compared to defenses that have performed better but with comparatively less skill, such as the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, and Las Vegas Raiders. The problem has been made worse by the Packers’ losses to each of those clubs.

Given Barry’s unsettling history from prior coaching positions, LaFleur’s insistence on keeping Barry as the defensive coordinator has raised concerns. In2008, Barry called the defensive plays for the legendary Detroit Lions, who finished 0-16. Furthermore, according to DVOA measurements, his tenures as defensive coordinator in Detroit and Washington were tainted by persistently low defensive efficiency rankings.

Barry’s passive strategies are exposed by opposing offenses, which result in substantial advantages both via the air and on the ground. Although Barry’s defensive scheme has a strong emphasis on bending rather than breaking, opponents have consistently been successful in getting past players at all levels of the field. Barry’s readiness to give up running yards hasn’t resulted in the resilience that was expected; Green Bay’s defense keeps breaking down. Whether it’s aerial chunk yards or ground assaults, Barry’s defensive strategies haven’t worked as expected.

As head coach, Matt LaFleur runs the risk of making Joe Barry a target if he keeps offering defense-related reasons. A head coach’s duties go beyond leading the squad on the field; they also include hiring coordinators strategically and managing them skillfully. LaFleur’s apparent unwillingness to deal with the obvious problems in the defensive coaching staff points to a willingness to put up with mediocrity that might plague the team for years. All over the league, head coaches make big adjustments to strengthen their clubs. In the end, LaFleur’s failure to comply amounts to a responsibility abdication.

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