Vikings Rivals Fire Their Defensive Coordinator

To the chagrin of Minnesota Vikings fans around the world, the 2023 season was a complete success for the Green Bay Packers.

After officially parting ways with Aaron Rodgers last offseason, Jordan Love stepped into the quarterback position for the Vikings rivals, and while he struggled for the first half of the year, he played tremendous football down the stretch, helping Green Bay clinch a playoff spot and earn a dominant playoff victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

However, while the Packers offense was once again one of the better units in the league, they continued to see struggles on defense. As a result, Green Bay decided to part ways with their defensive coordinator, Joe Barry, on Wednesday morning.

Vikings Rivals Part Ways with Defensive Coordinator

Vikings Rivals
Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry is shown during the fourth quarter of their game Monday, September 20, 2021 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions 35-17.MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the move, tweeting, “A change in Green Bay: Joe Barry will not return as the #Packers’ defensive coordinator, per sources.”

During Green Bay’s Divisional loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers allowed 356 yards of offense, and the 49ers scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to come back and defeat Green Bay, eliminating them from the playoffs.

Over the course of the regular season, the Packers were one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL, allowing the fifth-most yards in the league (2181). Per EPA, the Packers were the ninth-worst defense in the league.

May 23, 2023; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry is shown during organized team activities at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive struggles have been a common theme for the Packers during Barry’s three-year stint as their coordinator. Green Bay has not made it to the NFC Championship Game with Barry on the staff after doing so in each of the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

With the defensive coordinator job now open, this could be another landing spot for former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer as well. Green Bay has progressively moved down the league rankings in terms of points allowed and yards allowed in every season under Barry. If Zimmer is able to come in and revamp that unit, the Packers could be right back in the mix in the NFC North next season.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer waves to the crowd after the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Zimmer served as head coach of the Vikings for eight seasons, and the team went a combined 72-56-1 during the regular season during his tenure.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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