Packers DC Mike Pettine not returning for 2021 season

Mike Pettine's time with the Green Bay Packers has come to an end.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Friday, via an informed source, that the defensive coordinator's contract is expiring and the team does not intend to retain him for the 2021 season.

Pettine, 54, is the latest Packers coach looking for a new gig after the team parted ways with special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga on Wednesday. Green Bay officially announced Friday that Pettine and Mennenga would not return.

"We want to thank Mike for his commitment to the Packers for the last three seasons. He was an important part of our success," coach Matt LaFleur said in a statement. "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."

Green Bay's magical season ended at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game. The inconsistent effort displayed by Pettine's unit during the course of that game served as a microcosm for the concerns that have plagued the Packers D over the past couple seasons.

The Packers surrendered four TDs against the Bucs, including a crucial 39-yard Scott Miller score just before halftime that extended Tampa's lead from four to 11. Pettine's bunch did limit the run game (76 yards) and record three interceptions, but was unable to generate much pressure against Tom Brady (one sack, four QB hits).

Errors such as allowing the speedy Miller to torch Kevin King, who struggled throughout the contest, in man coverage with one second left on the clock could've provided the catalyst for Pettine's ouster. King also logged the pivotal pass interference call -- again in man coverage, only this time against rookie Tyler Johnson -- that kept the Bucs' last drive alive and helped them eventually secure the win.

Since the conclusion of last season's NFC title game, which Green Bay lost, 37-20, against the 49ers, questions began to mount regarding Pettine's time with the franchise. He came under fire for failing to adjust his game plan in an effort to contain Raheem Mostert (220 rushing yards) and San Francisco's devastating run game. LaFleur said a few days later that the team was "still working through everything" as it related to Pettine and the rest of the staff.

Clearly, the decision was made to retain Pettine, who did not sign a new contract heading into this season. Green Bay finished the year seventh in passing defense (221.2) and tied for 13th in scoring (23.1) and rushing defense (112.8).

The Packers also tied for 10th in sacks (41), 12.5 of which came from Za'Darius Smith, and ranked in the bottom seven in takeaways (18). Smith and lockdown corner Jaire Alexander will represent Green Bay in the Pro Bowl.

The Packers ranked outside the top 15 in scoring defense, takeaways and total defense in 2018, but were among the NFL's stingiest in 2019. The team finished ninth, seventh (tied) and 18th in those respective categories that season.

The 2020 campaign was Pettine's 19th in the NFL. Since joining the Ravens as a coaching assistant in 2002, he has spent time as a coach in Baltimore, DC with the Jets and Bills and as the Browns head coach in 2014 and 2015.

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