It's not very often that the NFL comes calling with an opportunity to take over a defense that was a few plays away from playing in a Super Bowl.
However, that's exactly what happened when the Packers decided to move on from Mike Pettine after three seasons despite fielding a top 10 defense in the NFL last year. Among the candidates that Green Bay was considering to fill that role was a guy having a ton of success at the college level as a first time play caller the past few years - Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard.
Despite interviewing for the spot, and understanding the unique draw of coordinating a defense like Green Bay's and all the history that comes with it, Leonhard has reportedly opted to stay with the Badgers.
Tom Oates tweeted the news this morning.
Oates added that Leonhard talked with Packers head coach Matt LaFleur via Zoom on Tuesday, and then in-person on Thursday before opting to turn down the job on Friday.
Leonhard reportedly acknowledged that it was a difficult decision, but added that his heart was at UW and in college coaching right now.
In his fifth season calling the defense for his beloved alma mater after serving as the defensive backs coach for a season, Leonhard has only once led a defensive unit that ranked outside of the top 10 in points allowed. His defenses are annually looked at as one of the top in college football, and Leonhard has crushed expectations in his first ever defensive coordinator role.
While nearly everyone would have been able to understand a move to Green Bay, no one is happier to have Leonhard back leading the Badgers than Paul Chryst and the Wisconsin faithful.
Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.