GREEN BAY — Darren Perry may not be back with the Green Bay Packers after all.
The team’s longtime, well-regarded safeties coach is in line for a position on the Tennessee Titans’ coaching staff under new head coach Mike Vrabel, according to veteran Titans writer Paul Kuharsky.
Perry could be Vrabel’s pick for defensive coordinator, Kuharsky reported.
Perry was one of three in-house candidates for the Packers’ defensive coordinator job, which went to ex-Cleveland Browns head coach and ex-New York Jets and Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
Another of the in-house candidates, cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt, received a new title and greater responsibility after not getting the coordinator position, while two NFL sources said earlier this month that Packers coach Mike McCarthy wanted to keep Perry on staff, too.
Perry joined the Packers staff in 2009 when McCarthy hired Dom Capers as defensive coordinator. Capers, who was fired after the Packers’ Dec. 31 season-ending loss at Detroit, had been Perry’s defensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Perry reportedly interviewed for a position on the Houston Texans defensive staff last week, but the Texans promoted assistant secondary coach Anthony Midget to defensive backs coach instead. That seemingly re-opened the door for Perry to return.
It’s still unclear whether the third in-house defensive coordinator candidate, Winston Moss, will return under Pettine. Moss interviewed for the Detroit Lions’ head-coaching job that reportedly will go to New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia after Super Bowl LII, and two league sources said that the Packers were planning on moving on from Moss, a member of McCarthy’s original 2006 staff. But that may have since changed and Moss could be back.
Last week, the Packers brought back inside linebackers coach Scott McCurley, who had been fired along with Capers and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac. It’s unclear what McCurley’s role will be on the new staff, as McCarthy has not yet officially announced any of the staff changes beyond the departures of Capers, Trgovac, McCurley, offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt.
McCarthy is expected to finalize his staff this week, and he has historically held off on an announcement until the full staff has been set.
The Packers did make one hire, adding former Bowling Green State safeties coach Ryan Downard to the staff Monday. The school announced Downard’s hiring, which is likely for the open defensive quality control position which came open when Tim McGarigle left for Northwestern.
Downard was a defensive assistant for Pettine in Cleveland and went to Bowling Green State after Pettine and his staff were let go after two seasons.
Meanwhile, ex-Packers tight ends and quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo is reportedly on the Minnesota Vikings’ short list to replace offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who is set to become the New York Giants head coach. McAdoo, who was on the Packers’ staff from 2006 through 2013, was fired as the Giants’ head coach late last season.
McAdoo was thought to be a candidate to rejoin the Packers’ offensive staff in some capacity along with offensive coordinator Joe Philbin, who was the team’s coordinator from 2007 through 2011 and has returned to that role after three-plus seasons as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach and two years on the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive staff.
When Philbin took over in Miami, he wanted to hire McAdoo as his offensive coordinator but was blocked by McCarthy from interviewing McAdoo because he was still under contract with the Packers.