Packers coach Matt LaFleur is looking for ‘answers’ following a loss where the defense was ‘torn apart’.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Matt LaFleur, the Green Bay Packers’ coach, has a history of dismissing coordinators during his nearly five seasons in charge. Regarding the potential dismissal of Joe Barry as the fourth in line, LaFleur refrains from an immediate decision, indicating a need for contemplation. This comes after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers significantly outplayed and outcoached LaFleur’s defense, as per his own assessment, in the recent 34-20 loss.

LaFleur faced inquiries about the defensive performance and Barry’s position following a game where Baker Mayfield delivered a dominating display as a visiting quarterback at Lambeau Field.

LaFleur avoided addressing the possibility of a coordinator change when pressed, emphasizing that it wasn’t the opportune moment for such discussions. He cited the need to review game footage and seek solutions before making any determinations.

Previously, LaFleur had made coordinator changes in the offseason rather than mid-season, as seen with his decisions regarding defensive coordinator Mike Pettine (after the 2020 season) and special teams coordinators Shawn Mennenga (after 2020) and Maurice Drayton (after 2021).

Barry’s hiring in 2021 was met with skepticism due to his track record as a defensive coordinator in Washington and Detroit, where his defenses ranked between 28th and 32nd in the NFL. Despite the perceived upgrade in talent with the Packers, defensive issues, particularly in stopping the run, persisted. However, in the recent loss, the problems were predominantly in defending the passing game, with Mayfield achieving unprecedented success against the Packers’ defense.

Barry’s strategy of employing a substantial amount of zone defense was exploited by Mayfield, who effectively dismantled it. The quarterback’s remarkable performance highlighted deficiencies in the Packers’ coverage, leading to historic statistics in passing yards and completion rates at Lambeau Field for a visiting quarterback.

LaFleur’s comments indicated concerns about being outcoached, outschemed, and outplayed, hinting at potential troubles within the defensive coordination.

While the Packers managed to sack Mayfield multiple times, the pass coverage displayed vulnerabilities, evident in the wide separation allowed to receivers like Chris Godwin.

The team, now on a two-game losing streak after reaching a .500 win-loss record, faces a challenging path to the playoffs, with their chances dropping to 27%, as per ESPN Analytics.

LaFleur stressed a playoff mentality for the remaining three games but refrained from offering a definitive stance on whether Barry’s message and strategy had lost resonance with the players. The team acknowledged the need for significant improvements to bolster their performance moving forward.

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