The Green Bay Packers have finally settled on a defensive coordinator, and his name is Dom Capers.
Anyone who knows anything about football will recall that Capers coached the Carolina Panthers from 1995-98. And anyone who knows anything about the Packers will recall the Packers handled Capers’ Panthers in the 1996 NFC Championship game. Capers was also the head man of the Houston Texans until 2005.
I was beginning to think that Mike McCarthy’s incompetence was getting the best of him again in the defensive coordinator search.
First, the Packers brought in former 49ers coach Mike Nolan, who seemed to have the job wrapped up due to his relationship with McCarthy (McCarthy was Nolan’s offensive coordinator in San Francisco). Nolan interviewed and then signed on to coach Denver’s defense. If you watched Denver play this past season, you wouldn’t necessarily consider their defensive coordinator position a great situation to walk into.
Next came former Bills head coach Gregg Williams. And then Gregg Williams signed on in New Orleans.
At this point, I was ready to roll out the Fire Mike McCarthy bandwagon again. Two seemingly highly-qualified candidates = zero results.
After Williams, there was talk of hiring former Saints coach Jim Haslett, or possibly Eagles secondary coach Sean McDermott. Meanwhile, the Packers own Winston Moss, who himself was considered as a candidate for the open head coaching positions in St. Louis and Oakland, was sitting around rotting.
Finally, McCarthy made a move, and while I’m not crazy about it, I don’t hate it either.
Capers has a solid coaching record.
He made his name in coaching circles with his innovative use of zone blitzes in that scheme as defensive coordinator for Pittsburgh from 1992 to 1994, and as Carolina’s head coach from 1995 to 1998.
Seemingly, the Packers have a secondary that can handle the pressure put on them when a coach blitzes, which always made me wonder why the disposed of Bob Sanders didn’t blitz more.
Capers has also lead defenses in Jacksonville and Miami.
What is interesting, is that like Nolan, Capers runs a 3-4 defense, which could make for some major personnel adjustments, as we detailed when we thought Nolan was going to get the job.
According to the Press Gazette (which has a terribly formatted blog, btw), the Packers will employ a 3-4 base, but it will also include some four man fronts. McCarthy believes both Aaron Kampman and Cullen Jenkins will fit the system well.
Capers, meanwhile, is getting a nice chunk of change to come to Green Bay. A nice chunk in the form of $2 million per season. He was also being aggressively pursued by the New York Giants, whose own defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnoulo, moved on to coach the St. Louis Rams.
Capers $2 million paycheck won’t kick in until 2010, as he is still owed $2.6 million from his stint in Miami. While his full paycheck may not kick in for a year, let’s hope his defensive scheme does, so the Packers can get back to punching people in the mouth and stealing their lunch money.