Packers coach Matt LaFleur hires another assistant; WR coach position remains open

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Miami Hurricanes offensive line coach Butch Barry during the second half of an Aug. 24, 2019, game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur has made a third offseason addition to his coaching staff, adding offensive line coach Butch Barry as a senior offensive assistant.

Barry interviewed with LaFleur over the weekend, according to a source, and NFL Network reported Monday that Barry had been hired.

A Sturgeon Bay native, Barry coached the offensive line at the University of Miami last season but was fired along with offensive coordinator Dan Enos after one year. Before that, he was an assistant offensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Barry attended and coached at Central Michigan, although his time did not overlap the years (2004-05) LaFleur spent there as a graduate assistant.

However, LaFleur grew up in Mount Pleasant, where Central Michigan is located, and his father coached there for 20 years, so it’s likely the two crossed paths there. Barry was a graduate assistant at CMU in ’02-03 before leaving to coach the offensive line at Southwest Minnesota State.

The addition of Barry gives LaFleur another assistant coach with offensive line experience and makes it more likely he will promote from within to fill the open wide receivers position. LaFleur fired Alvis Whitted after the season, but still hasn’t hired anyone or named a replacement from his staff.

LaFleur said he would be hiring a wide receivers coach, but a promotion from within seems the most likely.

Barry is the second offensive coach to be hired during the offseason, joining quality control assistant Connor Lewis. LaFleur already had an offensive quality control assistant — Kevin Kroger — which would indicate that he is promoting him to another position, possibly the wide receivers spot.

Kroger coached wide receivers for three seasons at Eastern Kentucky before joining LaFleur’s staff a year ago. His main assignment in 2019 was assisting offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett with an emphasis on tight ends.

Another possibility for receivers coach is offensive assistant Jason Vrable, who spent a year (2009) as an assistant receivers coach at Syracuse. Most of his experience has been coaching quarterbacks, however.

Quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy oversaw the wide receivers under former coach Mike McCarthy in 2016-17, but seems like a less likely option given Getsy left an offensive coordinator’s position at Mississippi State for a chance to coach quarterbacks in the NFL.

All of Barry’s work has been with the offensive line and tight ends. Before working with the Buccaneers, he served as Central Michigan’s tight ends coach from 2010-13 and offensive line coach in ’14.

LaFleur’s other hire this offseason was secondary coach Jerry Gray, who replaced Jason Simmons. Simmons left to coach defensive backs for the Carolina Panthers.

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