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Badgers Leonhard candidate for Packers DC job

Interviews underway with Matt LaFleur
FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2018, file photo, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard watches...
FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2018, file photo, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard watches during the first half of an NCAA college football game against New Mexico in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin traditionally wins games primarily because of its running game and defense. Now that Jonathan Taylor has moved on to the NFL, that would seem to put more pressure on the defense to carry the load as the Badgers’ offense adjusts to life without the two-time Doak Walker Award winner. The defense looks forward to that challenge. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)(Morry Gash | AP)
Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 11:55 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Packers search for a new defensive coordinator is ramping up. According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com and WBAY’s Cover 2, Matt Lafleur has several interviews scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

The most notable name on that list is Badgers Defensive Coordinator Jim Leonhard. The Wisconsin native and former Badger safety is considered a rising star in the college ranks. But given his 10-year playing career in the NFL with 6 different teams, he is also considered a strong fit for NFL teams. He was widely praised during his playing career for his intelligence by former coordinators such as Rex Ryan, and now former Packers Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine. Leonhard played for Pettine with the Ravens, Jets, Bills and Browns.

The 38-year old Leonhard has spent the past 5 seasons on Paul Chryst’s staff in Madison, the last 4 as defensive coordinator. During Leonhard’s tenure in Madison (2016-2020), the Badgers rank 3rd in scoring defense (17 points per game), 2nd in total yards allowed (294.5 yards per game), 4th in rushing defense (110.4 ypg) and 2nd in pass efficiency defense (109.7). Wisconsin is tied for 9th in most turnovers forced of any FBS team during that span, with 112, and the Badgers’ 72 interceptions ranks 7th nationally.

Leonhard is a native of Ladysmith Wisconsin.

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