Packers Rumors: Mike Pettine to Return as Defensive Coordinator in 2020

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2020

Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is seen before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Mike Roemer/Associated Press

His defense was torched during a 37-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, but Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will reportedly have a chance to redeem himself in 2020.

According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com, Pettine will return in the same position next season. The defensive coordinator met with head coach Matt LaFleur on Wednesday and will remain in place for at least another year.

Given the way LaFleur talked about the defense in Wednesday's press conference, this is something of a surprise.

He criticized the team's lack of urgency and said the 49ers "definitely outcoached us" when specifically asked about the defense, per Demovsky. He also didn't commit to bringing Pettine back when asked about it, opening up about the defense as a whole.

"We're still working through everything right now, just trying to evaluate everything," LaFleur said. "I think our defense did a lot of great things. Obviously, the last game was very disappointing in terms of our performance. It just wasn't good enough, especially when you get to a championship game like that and you know what's at stake. Just all across the board."

On the one hand, Green Bay was a solid ninth in the league in points allowed per game this season.

However, it was also a middling 18th in the league in yards allowed per game and consistently failed to make a key play in Sunday's loss as the team fell behind 27-0. San Francisco running back Raheem Mostert finished with 220 rushing yards and four touchdowns, all but eliminating the need for the home team to throw the ball.

Pettine, who was also the defensive coordinator of the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills and head coach of the Cleveland Browns earlier in his career, joined the Packers staff for the 2018 campaign under then-head coach Mike McCarthy.

While he is a holdover from the previous staff and didn't exactly perform well in his final test of the 2019 season, he will be back in Green Bay as it looks to build on its NFC Championship Game appearance.

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