GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Mike McCarthy liked the idea of having a former head coach as his defensive coordinator when he hired Dom Capers in 2009.
Nine years later, he has the same thing in Mike Pettine.
In hiring Pettine, 51, head coach Mike McCarthy plucked a coach off the Rex Ryan tree. Pettine worked under Ryan as his defensive coordinator with the New York Jets from 2009 to 2012. His Jets defenses ranked first, third, fifth and eighth. He spent the 2013 season as the Bills' defensive coordinator, and his unit ranked 10th.
Pettine also worked under Ryan with the Baltimore Ravens, for whom Ryan was the defensive coordinator. Pettine was working in the team's video department before Ryan elevated him to a position coach.
Pettine's scheme, like Ryan's, is rooted in a 3-4 system that relies heavily on press man cornerbacks and myriad blitzes. That gives McCarthy continuity on defense, because it's similar to Capers' scheme.
McCarthy will now have two former NFL head coaches on his staff. He hired Joe Philbin, the former Miami Dolphins coach, to rejoin his staff likely as offensive coordinator to replace Edgar Bennett, who will not return.
McCarthy fired Capers after the Packers finished 7-9 and ranked 22nd in total defense.
That's the fourth time it has finished in the bottom third of the NFL in the past seven years, including a dead-last ranking in 2011. Capers had not finished with a top-10 defense since the Packers' Super Bowl season of 2010, when it ranked fifth. The Packers have finished outside the top 15 in the defensive rankings six of the past seven years.
McCarthy also interviewed three of Capers' defensive assistants for the job: linebackers coach Winston Moss, cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt and safeties coach Darren Perry. None had any coordinator experience.
Pettine went 10-22 in his two seasons as Browns head coach.