The Chicago Bears plan to interview Joe Barry, the fourth reported candidate for the defensive coordinator job. Bears fans will know him as the former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator, but what else does Barry bring on his resume, and what would be the pros and cons of making him the defensive coordinator?
Chicago Bears plan to interview Joe Barry for defensive coordinator job
Joe Barry played college football at USC until 1993, and in 1995, he was back at USC as a graduate assistant and defensive line coach. He moved up to Northern Arizona and UNLV before getting his break in the NFL as a quality control coach with the San Francisco 49ers under Steve Mariucci.
The next year was his big break. He got a job as a linebackers coach on what turned out to be a loaded Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coaching staff. It was led by Tony Dungy, but Barry worked with Monte Kiffin, Rod Marinelli, Mike Tomline, Raheem Morris, and Alan Williams. Of course, Williams was the Bears' former defensive coordinator, and Marinelli was a mentor for Eberflus, so these two align idealistically.
He was there through the 2006 season, which meant working with Jon Gruden as well as Dungy. In 2007, he followed Rod Marinelli, who was the Detroit Lions head coach. For Barry, it was his first stint as defensive coordinator. In 2008, Detroit went 0-16, and everyone was fired.
In 2009 he, he was back with Raheem Morris, the Bucs head coach as the team's linebackers coach. It lasted just one year as Morris struggled in his first stint as a head coach. In 2010, he was with Lane Kiffin, the son of Monte Kiffin, at USC.
That lasted two years before he was with the San Diego Chargers for two years as a linebackers coach. In 2015, he was with Jay Gruden, whom he knew from his time with the Buccaneers. He was hired to be Washington's defensive coordinator. With Sean McVay as offensive coordinator, they grew closer.
So, when McVay got the job, he brought Barry along as an assistant head coach and linebackers coach for the Los Angeles Rams. He was there for five years and met Matt LeFleur there. When LeFleur moved to Green Bay, he hired Barry as his defensive coordinator
Pros to Chicago Bears hiring Joe Barry as defensive coordinator
His background matches what the Chicago Bears want. First, they hired an offensive coordinator off of the Sean McVay tree. Now, they could hire someone who had worked with Shane Waldron before. As noted, with the influences of Dungy and Marinelli, he fits the Bears' current style, and he even came up with learning the game with Alan Williams.
Barry is also a former assistant head coach, which would help Matt Eberflus. There are reasons to understand the interview.
Cons to Chicago Bears hiring Joe Barry as defensive coordinator
Barry has called plays at a few stints, and all of them ended poorly. Detroit, Washington, and Green Bay all learned quickly that he may be better with linebackers than coordinating the unit. Sean McVay made him assistant head coach but never named him defensive coordinator. The Bears should interview him to get intel on how he would gameplan for Justin Fields and then move to the next person.