Packers make coaching hire, await Darren Perry decision

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Packers safeties coach Darren Perry instructs safety Kentrell Brice during a practice session.

GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy is another step closer to finalizing his staff after hiring Bowling Green safeties coach Ryan Downard on Monday.

The university announced Downard was leaving for a job with the Packers, but it doesn’t appear Downard will be the safeties coach.

Downard was a defensive assistant for new Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in Cleveland and appears to be targeted for the defensive quality control position that remains open.

Safeties coach Darren Perry still is under contract, but McCarthy has given him permission to seek employment elsewhere after he was considered but not hired to replace fired defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

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There are several teams still forming staffs, but Perry is believed to be close to making a decision on whether he’ll return or take another job. The safeties position appears to be the only spot left on McCarthy’s staff that is open after Downard’s hiring.

Perry has sought to become a defensive coordinator and his best chance at that might be with the Tennessee Titans, who hired new head coach Mike Vrabel over the weekend. Vrabel said he planned to replace 80-year-old defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who coached Perry when he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Downard was a defensive assistant for the Browns during both of Pettine’s seasons as head coach. There he assisted both with the defensive backs and defensive line and worked with the gunners on special teams.

After Pettine was fired, Downard was hired by Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks as director of football operations. He advanced to safeties coach last year.

Prior to his two seasons with the Browns, Downard served as a graduate assistant at both Texas Tech and Toledo. He played football at Eastern Michigan.

The Packers' defensive quality control position opened when Tim McGarigle took a position with Northwestern.

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