It is time for the Packers to move on from defensive coordinator Mike Pettin.
Bad Rescue is synonymous with the Aaron Rodgers era as something else. For years, the unit was led by what Dom Capers had, which, like many other Green Bay Packers, hasn’t even had a second job since leaving the team. The Packers quickly replaced him with Mike Pettin, and better not lick him.
Pettine’s first year in Green Bay was poor, but had a lot to do with the lack of progress due to lack of personnel, head coach firing, and multiple injuries. But in its second year, Green Bay’s defense was as poor as ever. New pairings of Preston Smith, Zadrius Smith and Adrian Amos, as well as two first-round pickets dedicated to that part of the ball in free agency, gave Pettin the horses he needed.
The notion that the defense is actually better than before in any season is ridiculous. The two Smiths were simply players that provided new blood, but there was no progress on that side of the ball. Like his predecessor, Brian Gutekunst has completely ignored everyone at the middle lineback position to bring free agents and almost always injured Christian Kirksey down from Blake Martinez without any hurdles.
The damage to Tampa Bay was a very solid explanation on what the Packers are, and are not. They can ride high against a weak schedule, but will be ripped up by physical offensive lines and speedy linebacks. Gutekunst must seek help at all three levels of his defense.
A trade for a really capable defensive lineman named Kenny Clarke wouldn’t do wonders, and a possible move for either Shobert or Dion Jones could also help. Kevin King simply isn’t good enough to handle any of the NFC’s top receivers.
The only player on Green Bay’s defense who excelled under Paytm is Zaire Alexander. The third-year cornerback has jumped into All-Pro conversations and is the Packers’ best all-back cornerback since The Woodson. But Alexander is desperately in need of a hand on the pass and across the field.
Changing Paytm will not fix everything, but it will give the Packers another chance to restart from that side of the ball. While hardly anyone is playing for their contracts, there is some talent on that side of the ball. Green Bay, under no circumstances, would go to the Super Bowl with this defense.