GREEN BAY, Wis. – Last year’s defensive coaching staff will return intact for new coordinator Joe Barry.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur on Monday announced a series of coaching moves. Among them was the promotion of Jerry Gray from defensive backs coach to defensive backs/passing game coordinator and Adam Stenavich from offensive line coach to offensive line/run game coordinator.
Gray was the lone in-house candidate for the coordinator opening. While he could have left in disappointment, he accepted a promotion to come back for a second season in Green Bay. Gray, a four-time Pro Bowl cornerback, is entering his 25th season coaching in the NFL. In his first season with the Packers, he helped lead a unit that finished ninth in total defense and seventh in passing defense. Third-year cornerback Jaire Alexander was named All-Pro, though fourth-year pro Kevin King struggled through an injury-plagued season.
Outside linebackers coach Mike Smith also is sticking around for a third season. He was brought to Green Bay in 2019 by his mentor, former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Pettine and Smith are close, starting with their time in Baltimore, where Smith was an outside linebacker and Pettine his position coach, and continuing to the New York Jets, where Smith got his start in coaching under Pettine, who was the defensive coordinator.
Also returning on defense are defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti.
Stenavich had the unenviable task of replacing the revered James Campen. In his two seasons on the job, Green Bay’s offensive lines have been among the best in the NFL. In 2020, Green Bay led the NFL in scoring despite injuries that sidelined left tackle David Bakhtiari and center Corey Linsley and led to a constant shuffling of personnel. A native of Marshfield, Wis., Stenavich is a rapid riser in the profession after spending time on the Packers’ practice squad in 2006.
LaFleur rounded out his third coaching staff by:
– Promoting Rayna Stewart from special teams quality-control coach to assistant special teams coach, and Connor Lewis from offensive quality-control coach to special teams assistant/game management specialist.
– Hiring John Dunn as a senior analyst, Justin Hood as a defensive quality control coach, Ryan Mahaffey as an offensive quality control coach and Tim Zetts as an offensive quality control coach.
Of the additions, Dunn is the veteran. He is entering his fifth season in the NFL, having coached tight ends for the New York Jets the past two seasons after spending two years as an assistant with the Chicago Bears.