The Green Bay Packers are expected to finally purge themselves of defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Whether that comes via a firing or “retirement” remains to be seen.
The question then becomes who replaces him?
It appears there will be no shortage of qualified candidates. However, the name we hear the most is Vic Fangio. The Chicago Bears will be cleaning house on Monday. Fangio served as the Bears defensive coordinator for the past three years, so he will be a free agent.
Fangio has built a quality defense for the Bears. They are the No. 8 defense in the league. Fangio is probably best known as the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers under Jim Harbaugh. In his four seasons with the 49ers, Fangio fielded a top-five defense in each season.
Of course, the cupboard wasn’t exactly bare of defensive talent in San Francisco. While it isn’t bare in Green Bay, the Packers still need to make some personnel improvements on that side of the ball.
Will whoever the general manager of the team is be willing and able to make those improvements? That’s the next question.
If Fangio isn’t the guy for the Packers, there are some other interesting names that could be available.
It appears Marvin Lewis’ time as coach of the Cincinnati Bengals is up. His contract has run out and rumors have Lewis and the Bengals parting ways. If that is the case and Lewis isn’t a candidate for another top job, he could go back to the coordinator ranks. Lewis was the coordinator of the vaunted 2000 Baltimore Ravens’ defense.
Like Lewis, Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has a contract that expires at season’s end. He’s only been in L.A. for a season, but Bradley previously coordinated Pete Carroll’s better defenses with the Seattle Seahawks. They fielded top-10 units in two of his four seasons as defensive coordinator.
There are some wild cards here too. Jack Del Rio was let go by the Oakland Raiders. He coordinated defenses for Denver and Carolina. There’s also interim New York Giants coach Steve Spagnuolo, who has twice served as the team’s defensive coordinator. It’s believed he will get a real shot at keeping the top job in New York, however.