For the first time Friday, new Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur confirmed what has been widely reported, that he will indeed retain defensive coordinator Mike Pettine for a second season.
LaFleur announced Pettine will be his defensive coordinator during a Sirius XM radio appearance.
“Yeah, we’re going to go with Mike," LaFleur said. "I had a chance to sit down with him yesterday and really go through a lot of different things. We share a common vision and I am really excited to see this defense take off in year two of his system. I think that continuity, you know, just for the players, to be able to perform usually in year two it definitely is going to improve. And also, the thing that was so attractive about Mike to me, was here’s a guy who has been a head coach in the National Football League and it’s going to be somebody that I can lean on. Because there’s going to be certain circumstances that come up that hey, maybe I haven’t been through.”
The Packers announced later Friday that Pettine would be retained.
On Monday, PackersNews reported LaFleur entered his interview last weekend already listing Pettine as his candidate for the position, something that aligned nicely with the Packers.
When asked if Pettine would be his defensive coordinator at his introductory news conference Wednesday, LaFleur said the decision was not yet final.
“I have not had the opportunity to sit down with Mike,” LaFleur said then. “I plan on doing that very shortly.”
Pettine was originally hired one year ago to be former Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s defensive coordinator, replacing longtime coordinator Dom Capers. The defense showed improvement across the board in his first season, despite a rash of injuries. In keeping Pettine, LaFleur is following the same model as Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy, who retained Vic Fangio as his defensive coordinator after being hired as head coach last January.
Hackett, Monken interview for OC position
LaFleur also confirmed a PackersNews report that Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is “certainly on the radar” to join his coaching staff. Hackett, the son of McCarthy mentor Paul Hackett, is being considered for LaFleur’s offensive coordinator position, a source told PackersNews on Thursday. He traveled to Green Bay for an interview Friday.
“He did a lot of great things there in Jacksonville," LaFleur said of Hackett. "They went to the AFC championship game. That’s somebody I definitely want to talk to.”
PackersNews.com confirmed Friday that former Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Todd Monken would also interview for the vacant offensive coordinator position. Monken previously interviewed for the head coaching job.
LaFleur previously decided not to retain special teams coordinator Ron Zook.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.