I think it’s fair to call former Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers a hands-off coach. Capers was known as an X’s-and-O’s kind of guy. It was always about the scheme.
Capers didn’t really interact with players. During games, he sat up in the press box.
The Green Bay Packers’ new defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, is the opposite kind of coach. He interacts with players and he gets in their faces when it’s warranted. He isn’t about a fancy scheme. Pettine’s defensive philosophy is to keep it simple so the players can play fast.
That difference became apparent to everyone this week when Pettine stopped a drill to ream out his defense. Could you see Capers ever doing that?
If you could, you have quite the imagination because it’s never happened.
“Dom was more quiet,” defensive lineman Kenny Clark said. “We had a lot of older guys (under Capers). I would say our defense is more younger. So Julius (Peppers) and Mike (Daniels) and Clay (Matthews) and all those guys, if we did get in one of those situations, I think Dom would let the leaders (handle it). It was just different coaches and different people, how they handle things.”
Veteran cornerback Tramon Williams, who has played for both Capers and Pettine, backed up that assertion.
“From Dom to Coach Pettine is totally different,” Williams said. “Two different personalities. Dom was just a laid-back guy. He commanded it with his experience and presence, but coach Pettine, he’s going to let you know. He’s going to let you know, but he’s been highly successful in this league with every team he’s been on. He has the resume to back it up, and you can see it in his attitude also.
“Coach Pettine believes in football stuff, not schematics stuff. As a player, that’s what you love in a coach. If he tells you to go out there and do what you do, that’s what you love to hear from a coach. That’s what coach Pettine is really about.”
We’ve long discussed the lack of fire on the Packers’ defense in past years. Sometimes they just seemed to come out flat, with no passion. It’s like they didn’t want to be on the field.
We’ve long believed that came from the top. That Capers’ lack of fire and hands-off approach often trickled down to his players.
Well, fools are being held accountable now.