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Former Packers safeties coach looking to return to NFL

Darren Perry is looking to get back into coaching after not being with a team this past season. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the former Packers safeties coach has talked to several teams about returning to the NFL after being let go by the Packers after the 2017 season. There were a few teams looking at Perry to coach in 2018, but nothing came through.

Perry was hired by the Packers to be the safeties coach in 2009. Perry helped develop safeties Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix during their time in Green Bay. In 2014, Perry helped Burnett and Clinton-Dix finish with 125 and 95 tackles, respectively, which led to Clinton-Dix being named to the PFWA All-Rookie team. Clinton-Dix had a breakout season in 2016, recording a career-best five interceptions and he played in his first Pro Bowl.

The former Packers safeties coach was a candidate to be the Packers defensive coordinator this past season, but the team decided to go with Mike Pettine. Once that decision was made, the Packers decided to revamp their coaching staff which included Perry moving on from the Packers. 

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“I want to thank Darren and his wife Errika for their dedication to the Packers over the last nine years,” McCarthy said. “We wish Darren and his family all the best moving forward.”

Along with his time with the Packers, Perry also was an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders. He has won two Super Bowls as an assistant coach, one with the Packers and one with the Steelers. Perry also played in the NFL for nine seasons before becoming a coach. He was drafted by the Steelers in the eighth round of the 1992 NFL Draft and was named to the All-Pro Team in 1994. Perry also spent time with the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints.

There is no word on which teams Perry has talked to, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Cleveland Browns were on the list. There are strong connections between the Packers and the Browns as GM John Dorsey spent 21 years in Green Bay’s front office. Also, former Packers executives Alonzo Highsmith and Eliot Wolf are part of Dorsey’s staff. 

The Packers are also revamping their coaching staff after hiring Matt LaFleur as their head coach, but the team will retain Mike Pettine as the defensive coordinator. As for the rest of the defensive coaching staff, it’s been reported that defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery will stay on, but there has been no word on anyone else. 

If there’s one other defensive assistant coach the Packers should keep, it has to be Joe Whitt Jr. who’s the team’s defense pass game coordinator. Whitt has been on the coaching staff since 2008 and like Perry, he was a candidate to be the team’s defensive coordinator last year. 

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