Packers announce DC Mike Pettine won’t return for 2021

Mike Pettine’s time as Green Bay’s defensive coordinator has come to an end.

The NFL Network was the first to report Friday afternoon that Pettine’s contract expired at the end of the season and he would not be back in 2021.

The team confirmed the move later in the afternoon.

“We want to thank Mike for his commitment to the Packers for the last three seasons,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “He was an important part of our success. As a first-time head coach, he was also an invaluable resource for us during our time together.

“We wish Mike, Megan, and the rest of their family the best moving forward.”

Pettine replaced long-time coordinator Dom Capers in 2018 under former coach Mike McCarthy. Matt LaFleur kept him on when he took over as head coach in 2019.

This past season was a bit of a mixed bag for Pettine. For the first time since 2010, the defense finished in the top 10 in fewest yards allowed, while coming in 13th in points allowed. In the Packers six-game winning streak to end the season, the defense allowed 16 points or less in four of the games.

But Pettine’s tenure also included several significant breakdowns at the worst possible times, including in the last two NFC title game losses. Pettine’s unit allowed 285 yards rushing in a blowout loss to San Francisco in 2019, and then gave up an inexplicable touchdown to Tampa Bay at the end of the first half last Sunday.

With Pettine’s departure, LaFleur will now have the opportunity to pick his own guy. The choice could go a long way to determining whether the Packers will get over the hump and back to the Super Bowl after coming up just short in LaFleur’s first two seasons.