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Add Assistant Coach Joe Whitt, Jr. to the List of Outgoing Packers Coaches – Mike Pettine Will Officially Stay

After 11 seasons with the team, Joe Whitt, Jr. is out as defensive pass game coordinator:

Charles Woodson still has his back:

Auburn University alumnus Joe Whitt, Jr. was tasked with stopping the passing game of opponents and worked closely with cornerbacks on the team. His coaching career started at The Citadel as wide receiver coach and he then went on to coach 11 out of his 12 years in the NFL for the Packers. His first year in the NFL was working with the Atlanta Falcons. Originally hired my Mike McCarthy in 2008, he helped lead the Packers to a #2 defense ranking in 2009. More recently in 2018 he was promoted to his final position with the Packers as pass game coordinator. Until recently, the Packers secondary was among the best in the league. PFF now ranks the Packers secondary at #27 for the 2018 season. With that said, Joe Whitt is not likely to have any trouble finding more work in the league with the knowledge and experience he brings.

As rumored before, Mike Pettine will keep his job:

One of our contributors correctly predicted this a while back. The Packers rebuild continues with Pettine staying on board moving forward. LaFleur is already making some smart and pragmatic moves by keeping some names on-board as he goes into his first stint as a head coach.

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Jason Parker

Publisher / Editor / News Guy - Attended University of Georgia - currently living in SE Asia. I've seen Tommy Boy 112 times and I demand some respect.

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14 Comments

  1. Savage57 January 12, 2019

    Joe Whitt, Jr., has consistently been lauded as a top secondary coach by former players and his coaching peers.

    The rub is, the Packers have just rarely seen the results on the field. This is one of those deals where if you put the pieces together, you conclude Pettine has a vision for his secondary that differs from Whitt’s.

    Personally, I’m looking forward to a DB’s coach who has a more aggressive philosophy that includes things like knowing where the ball is, actually playing it and making an interception every now and again.

    1. Cheesemaker January 12, 2019

      ^^^This. I remember those accolades back in 2009 and thinking we were lucky to have this guy. But from that point on, we seemed to consistently underperform – on the field and in development of young players. At some point years ago, I stopped believing much of what Woodson had to say about former coaches and let the actual results speak for themselves. I’ll wager that wherever Whitt lands next, he’ll get high praise from his players and yet the team will be a sieve against the pass.

      1. Thomas E Lind January 12, 2019

        Good points by you too Cheese!

    2. Thomas E Lind January 12, 2019

      Very good points 57!

  2. Howard January 12, 2019

    Very good points 57 and Cheesemaker.

    I would like to add the DBs for the Packers have been for some time one of the worst tackling DBs in the league. The defensive backfield does not show up in a physical manner. Alexander did show he would stick his nose into the run game and play physical. So would Tony Brown. Many of the other DBs would avoid tackling and taking on blocks.

    One of the knocks coming out of college was Josh Jackson did not like to tackle. There were many plays last year that Jackson avoided getting involved in the action. You have to get your 2nd round pick to play more physical or he will be a bust. Part of Whitts job was to have the DBs involved in run support, taking out blockers, and making tackles. The Packers DBs have failed miserably at that for years, and that is an important part of being a DB. The top defenses have DBs that tackle well. The Packers DBs do not have that quality and haven’t for years. Add in the stats for yards allowed per pass attempt, interception rate per pass attempt, and passer rating allowed and the Packers were almost at the bottom of the barrel again for the 3rd straight year.

    One other thing if you look at most of the pass defensive stats you will see that in the last quarter of the season the DBs as a group dropped off in performance considerable. You could see it on the field. It almost looks like they gave up. That does not keep a position or group coach around when they lose their players. Sure injuries may have had an impact, but that can not be used as an excuse.

    1. PF4L January 12, 2019

      Spot on about the tackling issue Howard, this group is horrible. Some people lauded King’s tackling aggressiveness, until it dawned on them he’s only aggressive at the line of scrimmage on lateral passes to receivers when they just caught the ball. As long as the receiver is relatively stationary, King is your guy,lol.

      Most others will avoid contact especially Jackson, he doesn’t want any part of it. Part of the problem is…..the Packers brought in Tramon to show these guys how to play in the NFL. Here’s the problem…..If Tramon is 9 yards away from the ball carrier, and he see’s Brice (or whoever) 8 yards away, Tramon will slow and pull up and let Brice deal with it. I’ve seen it 20 times. Quite a bargain for only 5 million. This team is fairly pathetic when you go through the roster player by player. The smallest guy Alexander is probably the most aggressive. It’s not the size of the man, it’s the size of the heart. If a NFL player won’t go to battle for you, what does that say? Sure, not all superstar corners like tackling, but if your last name isn’t Sanders, you best start tackling.

      In another thought for the masses…..If anyone wants to determine (in advance) whether Green Bay has a Championship caliber team or not at the beginning of the season. Instead of just dreaming for one, do this…….

      Take the current year Packers roster….compare every player against each player the team had on the 1996 season roster, and the 2010 roster, and that should give you a fairly accurate determiner..

    2. ay hombre January 12, 2019

      Proving once again why he’s the best commenter on this site. Howard…always a pleasure.

    3. Ash Paladium January 27, 2019

      I totally agree with your assessment. Whitt was given way too much time to get the pass defense where it needed to be. Being “one of the boys” doesn’t qualify you as a good coach. If he was so good, our pass defense wouldn’t suck year after year. I also noticed that Josh Jackson avoids tackles and got twisted and turned around by many second and third string wide receivers. He is horrible at man coverage as well and sucks at tackling. I was leery about the Packers drafting him out of Iowa since three of his Int’s we’re against a crappy team in his last year at Iowa. Don’t know why Packers always draft guys that don’t like to get physical and that suck at defense. Just an opinion but Kenny Clark is also overrated. He hasn’t had more than six sacks and was a first round draft pick chosen over “Myles Jack” by Ted Thompson. So dumb. Myles Jack has made the Pro Bowl nearly every year. Great players make others around them better and I haven’t seen that with Clark. He has underperformed. Packers have repeatedly passed on some really good Outside linebackers that would have made them instantly better. TJ Watt not being picked was the worst yet. Kevin King sucks and in his first two years has one INT and looks lousy .

  3. PF4L January 12, 2019

    Joe Whitt Jr. made a name for himself, being credited for developing 2 UDFA’s into pretty good corners back in the day and deservedly so.

    But you can’t cherry pick and judge him only on that, you have to look at his totality of work.

    I absolutely hate putting position coaches under a microscope when you had Ted Thompson supplying the talent.

    Regardless, i wish Joe the best in his future endeavors.

  4. Joe January 13, 2019

    Does not help either that Green Bay needs an entirely different draft philosophy – we need to look at quality instead of quanitity. Then change the strength and conditioning staff – to many years of too many players on IR

  5. Empacador January 13, 2019

    Here are some really interesting conversations on Whitt I found while looking for something else.

    https://www.packerforum.com/threads/joe-whitt.77844/ (Page 4 of this is really interesting to see what he worked with from 2009 on.)

    https://www.packerforum.com/threads/joe-whitt-winston-moss-fired-merged-threads.80528/

    http://archive.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/322465971.html

    https://journaltimes.com/sports/football/packers-secondary-has-unusual-talent-depth/article_a66393dc-d428-5390-828b-72fe63a838c2.html

    https://totalpackers.com/2016/01/joe-whitt-and-darren-perry-get-some-deserved-recognition/ (Nice comments in the comment section.)

    Impressive how all over the board people are regarding Whitt and his football acumen. Whitt declared the best people play regardless of draft status or paycheck. Back when Howard first recognized Gunter in preseason, Whitt admitted not going with his gut feeling to play Gunter later that season when the secondary was struggling. A DB whisperer Whitt was not and played it safe, much like the rest of the coaching staff at that time and was part of the dysfunction within.

    If Philbin did one thing right, it was getting rid of Moss. I’d like to see Pettine/LaFleur change up the coaching staff a bit more to get guys they want rather than be stuck with holdovers from the McCarthy era.

  6. Empacador January 13, 2019

    So what’s the deal? Referencing other sites when commenting to provide source material is forbidden now?

    1. Jason January 13, 2019

      They have to be manually approved.

      1. Empacador January 14, 2019

        Thanks for the info Jason!