Packers Snatch LBs Coach Anthony Campanile From Eagles' Talons

Matt LaFleur and Jeff Hafley reportedly land Dolphins' Anthony Campanile to coach linebackers.

As the Green Bay Packers continue to restructure their defensive coaching staff under new Defensive Coordinator Jeff Hafley, they look to have landed former Miami Dolphins' linebackers coach, Anthony Campanile to be their linebackers coach as well as run game coordinator. 

After spending four seasons with the Dolphins, it looked like Anthony Campanile could have been a shoo-in for defensive coordinator on the team after Vic Fangio's departure back home to the Philadelphia Eagles. Instead, the Dolphins hired Anthony Weaver for the position passing on Campanile for the second year straight. Campanile had interviewed for the coordinator position before Vic Fangio was hired the year prior but was eventually passed up for the veteran defensive guru. Campanile had also interviewed for the Giants defensive coordinator position this year, before they decided to hire former Titans coordinator Shane Bowen.

Before his time in Miami, Anthony Campanile was the linebackers coach for a year with Michigan, defensive backs coach from 2016-2017 at Boston College, and then defensive coordinator at the school in 2018. Campanile has also held numerous positions with Rutgers as an offensive and defensive positions coach from 2012-2015. Coincidentally, Packers defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley coached at both Rutgers and Boston College, but the two did not coach at the same time at either school. 

After missing out on the two DC gigs, reports had Campanile possibly following Vic Fangio to Philadelphia. It seemed like a probable move until Tuesday morning when reports came out from Tom Silverstein that the Packers were expected to hire Anthony Campanile to join their defensive staff. 

What does Campanile bring to the table?

Let's look at the stats. As linebackers coach with Miami in 2023, the Dolphins defense finished 6th in yards allowed per carry with a 3.81 average. During Campanile's tenure, the Dolphins averaged a top-10 defense against the run. I don't think I have to tell most Packer fans that this is way above what the Packers' defense averaged. In 2023, the Packers' defense averaged 4.42 yards per carry against the run ranking 23rd. And, well, during Campanile's tenure in Miami, the Packers defense was 31st against the run in yards per carry. On top of that, in the last season, the Dolphins defense allowed the least amount of explosive run plays in the league with only 20. 

Campanile is expected to help Hafley transition the Packers to a 4-3 defense, but it is known that Campanile has coached linebackers in varying schemes just like Hafley has had a 4-3 base, but has shown many different looks on his defense. 

Outside the numbers, Anthony Campanile is known to be a very fiery coach and drew a lot of attention with a speech to Miami players during HBO's Hard Knocks series this past season. He started by showing a quote from Vince Lombardi:

"Imagine for a moment, if you can, a man running down the street with all of your worldly possessions. Taking from you everyone that you have ever loved and everything that you hold dear. I guarantee you would find a way, by any means necessary, to stop that man, that very simply put is pursuit."

Campanile went on to say that you are at your best when you are doing things for the people you love. He then continued with a profanity-laced speech that in summarization stated that players do everything for those they love. On Sundays, they honor those loved ones by being the best they can be. If someone's running away with their loved ones, no one's getting in their way. They will do everything they possibly can to stop that person. Campanile then transitioned into how he wants his guys to work every day, he said, "All over the world, they speak ass whooping, to the day you die. So here's what I'm saying, let's eliminate that factor. They can't outwork us. Eliminate that and let's see what happens. Don't stop throwing punches, don't stop attacking the ball, don't stop finishing blocks, and let's see what happens." That's the type of intensity Campanile offers, and how he wants his players hitting the field every game day.

The linebackers that benefit

In Campanile's stint with the Miami Dolphins, he coached players like Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips. 

When it comes to the Packers' defense, we will have to see how the positions shake out with the 4-3 transition for who stands up and who puts their hands in the dirt. But Quay Walker and Isaiah McDuffie will likely be the top beneficiaries of Campanile's tutelage. Even if they end up being more commonly defensive ends in a 4-3, Rashan Gary and Lukas Van Ness will likely also benefit from Campanile. The fiery attitude brought on by the linebackers coach will hopefully rub off on the entire squad and we'll see a lot of improvement to the run defense. 

What strikes me as interesting though, is Campanile choosing the Packers over the Eagles. Sure, it could be money. But after that, he could have sat on the Eagles staff and collected defensive coordinator interviews in a defense he already knew under Vic Fangio. Instead, he moves to Green Bay in a system with a brand new defensive coordinator in the league. Something could be intriguing for Anthony Campanile in terms of scheme Jeff Hafley plans to run or even the players he gets to coach. 

Either way, I believe this is a huge hire for the Packers to land such a talented coach to help reshape their defense. 

Did I mention the comedy that is Joe Barry replacing Campanile in Miami as a linebacker and running game coach?  Though I believe Barry may be a better positions coach than a coordinator, it simply can't get much more entertaining than the idea that the Packers traded their failed defensive coordinator to the Dolphins for a fiery, well-sought-after linebackers coach. 

I'm excited to see how Anthony Campanile can impact the Packers' run defense and how he can perhaps improve the team's intensity overall.

 

Greg Meinholz is a lifelong devoted Packer fan. A contributor to CheeseheadTV as well as PackersTalk. Follow him on Twitter @gmeinholz for Packers commentary, random humor, beer endorsements, and occasional Star Wars and Marvel ramblings.

12 points
 

Comments (19)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Irish_Cheesehead's picture

February 07, 2024 at 12:25 pm

Looks like they also hired former Chargers defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley as their defensive pass game coordinator. Staff is shaping up! Time will tell as far as results but I'm excited about the defense for the first time in years!

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Tundraboy's picture

February 08, 2024 at 07:27 pm

Yes! truly excited, not simply hopeful any more.

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splitpea1's picture

February 07, 2024 at 12:39 pm

I hope that this will be a beneficial hire. Fiery speeches aside, what matters is proper tackling angles and techniques to go with a little more intensity while doing so--on the field. After viewing the speech, you saw a couple players giggling while the rest seemed rather glazed over....probably because they've hundreds of such sermons in their careers.

Let's see what Campanile can do with Quay, Gary, and the safeties with their run defense coordination and tackling. Quay in particular needs to be sticking his nose in there and driving ball carriers backward more often.

"Though I believe Barry may be a better positions coach than a coordinator..." Yeah, I think that's pretty much been proven. Good luck to him in Miami. Although we're going to have to wait a while to see the results of the turnover in the defensive coaching staff, it was long overdue. Hopefully the players are excited about the chance to play real defense instead of being (far) back on their heels waiting to react.

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LLCHESTY's picture

February 07, 2024 at 03:44 pm

According to PFF he did a good job with a no name ILB group this year. Their top 3 tacklers all had grades in 60s and 70s. He also did an awesome job coaching up Van Ginkel over the last couple of years.

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GregC's picture

February 07, 2024 at 01:02 pm

Hafley has brought in several new coaches and is only keeping two holdovers so far. I'm impressed that he has been able to hire some experienced coaches from other teams. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but this is the kind of change they needed.

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T7Steve's picture

February 07, 2024 at 02:31 pm

Who knows?

The Barry D was spectacular a times and even whole games. Most times 1-3 quarters with a letdown in the 4th.

I'll settle for less than spectacular and more consistent through whole games and seasons.

7 turnovers through 4 games are great. Averaging 2 turnovers a game is better.

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mnbadger's picture

February 07, 2024 at 01:04 pm

I have no idea if this is a good hire. Time will tell.
I love the idea that we have coaches on defense that want the Pack to play with relentless pursuit and aggressiveness.
GPG!

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Packers0808's picture

February 07, 2024 at 01:50 pm

Sounds like he is surrounding himself with his own people and knowledgeable as well. Has to be an upward trajectory!

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Cheezehead72's picture

February 07, 2024 at 02:06 pm

I do not know if these are good hires because only time will tell. I do know the chances are better that the defense will be better.

You only get better through change. So in an NFL defense that means changing the people or making the people better. We have the first now lets hope for the second.

I would be happy with a top 10 offense and defense and a top 15 STs.

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Packers0808's picture

February 07, 2024 at 02:08 pm

Aiming higher never hurts!

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Packers0808's picture

February 07, 2024 at 02:10 pm

See Tom Clements upped for the next year! Helps Love in many ways it appears! Glad he is back.

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Cheezehead72's picture

February 07, 2024 at 02:13 pm

I am also happy he is back and that they have a young guy too. I was wondering if Clements was getting outdated. It will be good for him to have young eyes pointing out things and him teaching the young gun.

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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 08, 2024 at 02:09 pm

How can you be "outdated" when teaching the fundamentals of a position? How do those ever change? Schemes change, league rules change, which affect how both offenses and defenses play. But to teach a QB things like footwork and stance and eyes and when to escape the pocket would seem to me to be pretty consistent through the decades. When to run, when to throw it away. Do those really change?

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

February 09, 2024 at 09:15 am

Other than restoring JL's footwork to as good as it was in TC before adjusting to playing behind a leaky O line, one of the improvements I'd like to see is knowing when running is the best option to avoid a sack and extend the play. I was very glad to see him not panic and take off when not necessary, and standing still to deliver some great throws! In the right priority, running is a skill that can be added. I have no idea who is best to teach that, but it's encouraging to see that MLF is interested in improving the staff while he has the chance.

GPG!

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Tundraboy's picture

February 08, 2024 at 07:29 pm

Now that's good news! Another positive step.

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TKWorldWide's picture

February 07, 2024 at 02:10 pm

When is the last time the Packer D struck anybody as MEAN?
Of course, results are the most important, but a hostile attitude ought to help!

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T7Steve's picture

February 07, 2024 at 02:36 pm

The closest they got to mean recently, is couple stupid ejections for roughing up people in street clothes.

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

February 09, 2024 at 09:16 am

Make Lambeau Field a place teams dread going to again

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Packer_Fan's picture

February 07, 2024 at 08:07 pm

This whole defense thing is going to get interesting. Hafley is hiring to potential DC candidates. Or were. With some fiery personality. Just a feeling that this next defense is going to be much different than the passive bend and don't break.

LB's playing downhill. CB's playing man press. Pressure from blitzes. And the most important, a totally new attitude. Jaire is gonna love it.

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