Time For Packers to Fire Dom Capers?

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Dom Capers

Dom Capers

The Green Bay Packers defense was decent this season after finishing last in the league in yards allowed in 2011. Still, for the second year in a row, the defense was the main culprit in a blowout divisional round playoff loss.

Some people are wondering, including us, if it isn’t time the Packers parted ways with defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

Certainly, the Packers have some personnel issues on defense, but that doesn’t mean Capers is necessarily lacking in blame. Green Bay was gouged by San Francisco and quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Saturday. Probably the most frustrating thing is they didn’t do anything to try to change their course.

Safety Charles Woodson openly criticized Capers’ refusal to make adjustments after the game.

“I think it’s the right defense,” Woodson said of Capers’ scheme after the game. “I just think when the game is going the way it is, you’ve got to try something different. It’s hard to just continue to do the same thing over and over again and continue to get burned. That’s what I was talking about going forward. We need to figure out, could we have done something differently as far as our game plan was concerned?

“It hurts you bad, especially if you’re in a lot of fire zones. If there is a breakdown somewhere, it’s going to turn into a big breakdown.”

If Capers has anything working in his favor, it’s that his unit improved dramatically overall this season, finishing 11th in the league in yards allowed.

At times, the defense carried the Packers, something you couldn’t say last season. Still, as a unit, they were maddeningly inconsistent. One week the defense was carrying the day. The next, they were getting torched.

The Packers didn’t just get torched by stars like Adrian Peterson either. If you think back to the Jacksonville game, you’ll recall they made Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert look awfully good. A lot better than he really is, in fact.

As for Peterson, it took the Packers three games to figure out how to keep him moderately in check.

So what now?

It’s the start of another long offseason — one where the Packers seriously need to consider if they have the right guy and the right scheme on the defensive side of the ball.

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

32 Comments on "Time For Packers to Fire Dom Capers?"

  1. David

    That was the first thing I said after I turned the game off. Disgusting performance by Clay Matthews and Capers. However, Charles Woodson shouldn’t wag fingers.. he was responsible for a lot of the screw ups I saw.

  2. TyKoSteamboat

    We won a Superbowl 2 seasons ago with this guy leading our D.
    We have one of the most underrated secondaries in the NFL.
    Would have been interesting to see our team with Nick Perry, D.J. Smith, Desmond Bishop, Jerel Worthy, Charles Woodson & Davon House at full strength.

  3. Voice of Reason

    Complete lack of adjustment on defense. I’m in agreement. Capers should be let go. We also need some real inside linebackers. Our left outside LB position will likely be OK when Perry gets back. Sure hope he stays healthy because Erik Walden SUCKS! All he needed to do was stand to the outside and not let the QB get around him, but he kept running inside, trying to get to the phantom ball carrier. Hey Erik, that’s what they make inside linebackers for (at least real inside linebackers like Willis and Bowman). Get rid of Hawk and Jones, both.

  4. sirzig

    He did do good a while back. He did do well with the injuries on defense the last two seasons. But, whereas Clements seems to be willing to make second half adjustments when needed, it is unfathomable, if playing man coverage, why they don’t have someone assigned to the Quarterback after he spent 30min of football running all over you. It’s not like they didn’t know his potential. He is, after all, the first player in NCAA history to record back-to-back 2,000 passing yard/1,000 rushing yard seasons.

    …and that soft zone shit they played all too often, that was ridiculous.

  5. sirzig

    ..actually, I take it back about the job he did last season. Though getting Clay & Charles some better talent to work help out there was an issue. Just happy our secondary is doing better with Casey coming on strong and Sammy Shields’ improvements. Would like to have seen how Nick Perry fared/matured throughout a full season, Casey H. sure blew the doors off.

    • Packer Bob

      Nope, just speaking our minds and giving everyone our two cents. Nobody commenting here should consider themselves an expert on this subject.

    • sirzig

      Hmm, reread all the posts..nobody claimed to be an expert on anything.

      So what, exactly do you think the point of a comments section is? It’s about voicing your opinion, something you seem to have no problem doing.

      But, really, thanks for adding so much to the conversation. Your insight and articulation must serve you well in life.

  6. Packer Bob

    The knee-jerk reaction is to fire him.

    But who do you replace him with? Will this person be any better, or even worse? Are you willing to accept that there might be a transition period (e.g. going back to a 4-3 defense).

    I think the most concerning issues I have is that in
    3 of the last 4 years our defense has gotten blown out in the playoffs. Maybe Capers’ defense isn’t too hard to figure out? And we certainly do not have enough play makers.

    Drafting is always the best way forward IMO, but sometimes free agency is the necessary move. But I certainly don’t want Thompson to go out and get a Mario Williams or Albert Haynesworth. We all know how those big contract signings worked out.

    Thompson will continue to draft to develop, perhaps taking a pure OLB/ILB in the first round (if players like that are even available). None of this “wait-and-see if he can adapt” stuff like the Nick Perry experiment. Capers will get another year but I expect him to perform *a lot* better.

    This team is so close to making another run. We will always be a contender with Rogers at QB. All we need is a solid defense. But, I’d rather we improve on what we have then go through any sort of “rebuilding” phase.

  7. Sean

    I’m not sure getting rid of Capers is the best thing. Who do you replace him with that would be better? With so many teams looking for coaches that outside well might be dry which means promoting someone who learned from Capers.
    The scheme Capers ran is a classic way to stop the option. The players failed to execute it. You HAVE to shed blocks to stop the option read. Our players were pushed around like little girls or failed to stay disciplined and got sucked into chasing the RB. AJ Hawk is a liability and must be replaced. We need another marquee guy in this defense.

    That being said I think the players might need a change in coach just for change’s sake. But we should carefull for what we wish for, remember the DC before Capers?

  8. tequila

    Key in this debate is whether or not Capers is capable of making the adjustments during the game, week, and season that is dictated by a more fluid type of game the NFL is now. With offenses like Seattle, defensive coordinators need to have case by case solutions to ever changing landscape of the game. Does Capers have this ability? I don’t see any evidence of this. Any luck we had this year on D was luck or a case of personnel making up for it with pure talent. While I agree with Packer Bob that rebuilding sounds terrible, we may have to face the fact Capers is old and can’t evolve.

    I don’t have a solution, just my two cents. My gut tells me that with the guys we have on the field the defensive issues we have had this year are mostly coaching. Also, an offensive line might be nice.

  9. stuckinwisconsin

    Haha….Lovie won’t become packertrash…..clay mathews falls down more than kellen davis! No one in your scondary will have anything to do with physical contact……..but still your biggest problem is offense……you gotta keep your d off the field. Bears d is good because they led the league in time of possession. Your time of possession people ….jermichael finley….just needs one good hit and he will start pulling up on routes. too many big play guys = too many points given up as well. No self respecting d coordinator would want clay mathews on their roster, he uses up too much effort from your d line and provides no measurable level of intelligent play in return.

  10. flyboy7588

    Hey,

    Hawk did not play any worse that Matthews did on Saturday night. Christ, Matthews got manhandled by a guy playing with one good arm.

  11. Richard

    Hawk will be a backup anyways if Smith and Bishop are both healthy again. At least I hope he will be a backup. They can’t afford to keep slow linebackers on the field anymore, whether they’re getting shredded over the middle or run past like a turnstile by Colon Crapernick.

  12. Dave

    Our guys need to get physical and maintain discipline. I like Capers but I think a change is needed if we could get a guy like Mike Singletary ( Vikings linebacker coach) who could stick with the 3-4 yet demand execution as well as physical play. Injuries didn’t help us all year either, but we need upgrades from Pickett and Wilson more breathers for Raji more speed then Hawk provides and a safety along side Burnett. Wouldn’t mine seeing Pickett and Woodson back at reduced salery’s. And possably sign a guy like Iseral Idonaja (Bears DL).

  13. Doug

    It also sucks that it took them until the fourth quarter to realize that by bringing the house on 3rd and long they were creating a single line of defense with nothing but open space on the backside. How many times did Kaepernick make one move and have nothing but green in front of him because the linebackers were caught up in the line with the DL? A delayed blitz and even some bluffs might have helped in that situation. And no, I’m not an expert.

  14. peter

    People are talking shit about Matthews, but he was doing what Walden should have been doing on the other side. Holding your position and pushing the qb back inside or string outside until the cb or inside lb and clean it up.

    I feel the key is a MLB that is a leader and asskicker. Look at SF with Willis, Bal with Ray and Chicago for that matter with the meathead Urlacker those guys are forces on the field and change the game, nothing of which AJ Hawk can do. He needs to go stat!

  15. Chris

    Last I checked, the offense did not exactly carry its weight Saturday. 31 points was not exactly a representation of reality. The defense scored 7 of the points and the last touchdown was total garbage time points. So, in reality, the offense put up about 17 points and did not own any of the clock.
    The D had problems. That is clear. But the offense did nothing to keep the D off the field.

    Bottom line is that the Pack simply need to be tougher up front on both offense and defense. That’s where the Seahawks, Giants, And 49ers manhandled us this season.
    Driver, Finley, Hawk and Jennings salaries should be redidcated into o-line and d-line upgrades.
    Except for Finley, love everyone of the guys I just listed,,,but we are solid at their positions without them. And we need the help upfront.

  16. Greg

    The front 7 personnel on this team to me actually seems more suited to the 4-3. Raji is more a Sapp type than a Wilfork. A DT tandem of Raji and Worthy, along with Perry at one end and any of Walden, Neal, Daniels, etc. at the other could be formidable. Matthews can get swallowed up by big OTs, but he would be great as a 4-3 OLB working in space and blitzing.

  17. Me

    Singletary would be a great pickup on defense. He was on one of the greatest defenses of all time. He knows what he’s talking about. Maybe he can get some of these guys more focused.

  18. Tyson

    Lol at these idiots saying do not fire him, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? THE IDIOT COULDNT EVEN MAKE AN ADJUSTMENT THE ENTIRE GAME!!!!!!! HIS OWN PLAYERS CALLED HIM OUT ON IT!! THEY WERE NOT EXPECTING HIM TO RUN LIKE THAT? ITS QUITE OBVIOUS THIS IDIOT DIDNT EVEN PUT A PLAN TOGETHER AT ALL!!! HES A BUM AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN A BUM HAS ONE GOOD YEAR AND 3 CRAP ONES EVERYWHERE HES COACHED ITS A FACT LOOK IT UP!! HE IS SOFT AS HELL, LETS NOT FORGET 3 out of the 4 playoffs over the last 4 seasons we lost and had over 40 points put on us and over 500 yards IT TOOK THE IDIOT 3 TIMES TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO STOP AP 3 TIMES!? HE COULDNT EVEN FIGURE OUT HOW TO STOP 6TH GRADE JR HIGH PLAYS? THIS GUY IS A SCRUB I WOULD RATHER HAVE A PEE WEE FOOTBALL DC THAN THIS BUM

  19. Tyson

    Oh and decent this season? PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE They got flat out shamed in the first half of this season by better coaching, this is a fact, the last half of their schedule was agianst scrub teams with no QB minus the giants, So finishing top 15 in defense is nothing to write home about when over half your games were played against a total winning % of .400 Fire this scrub, lets not even talk about when he was busted in the AZ wildcard game SLEEPING on camera.

  20. Patrick

    The biggest problem with our defense is our offensive line. Dom Capers didn’t let Aaron Rodgers get sacked 51 times in the season. He isn’t responsible for a complete lack of a running game. The offense fell completely flat Saturday, the defense was out of gas midway through the third quarter. Also, Hawk is the equivalent of a “game-manager” quarterback on defense. We do need a beast monster at MLB.

  21. been packer fan 1958 to present Capers HAS TO GO he was out coached this happens way too often, need fresh blood to lead defense and make changes

  22. SA packerfan

    The people supporting Dom I guess are happy with only a wining season. I want to win a damn Superbowl again! We have a MVP quarterback for a little while and we don’t want to take a risk, get rid of DOM and maybe win a super bowl. Would I take a defense rebuilding year to get to a super bowl in 2015? Hell yes!

  23. palmda

    They should ask him to retire after the season along with the special teams coaches. Then put the offensive line coaches on notice. He needs to get his rocking chair and fade into the sunset.

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