Dom Capers‘ nine-season tenure as the Packers’ defensive coordinator looks to be over. Green Bay will part ways with Capers, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports.
This was the expected course of action for a Packers team that saw its eight-year playoff streak end this season. Demovsky adds there will be more changes on Green Bay’s defensive staff. Packers safeties coach Darren Perry is expected to receive consideration, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets.
The 67-year-old Capers has been a DC since his stellar work with the Steelers in the early 1990s. Twice a head coach, Capers could well be in demand by other teams as a defensive leader despite this dismissal. He’s been on an NFL sideline since the 1986 season.
Capers, though, has had the task of leading a defense for a franchise that largely eschews free agent help. He’s mostly coached players Ted Thompson‘s brought in through the draft, and the results have not been especially solid in recent years. Both the 2016 and 2017 Green Bay defenses have ranked 22nd in total defense, while the 2015 unit ranked 15th.
This marks just the third time Mike McCarthy’s fired a coordinator in 12 years as Green Bay’s HC. His ouster of Bob Sanders after the 2008 season brought Capers to Green Bay.
Capers’ units have been tasked with operating on a team led by Aaron Rodgers and have naturally been viewed as the weaker part of the Packers during the All-Pro-caliber quarterback’s run. Thompson, though, has used steady draft resources to aid the unit in recent years, using first- or second-round picks on the likes of Kenny Clark, Damarious Randall, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Kevin King, Quinten Rollins and Josh Jones. Injuries have also limited Green Bay’s defenses in recent years.
Due to the franchise’s continuity-centric ways, almost none of the team’s defenders has played in a different defensive system than Capers’ version of the 3-4, so it will be interesting to see how Thompson and Co. go about filling this vacancy. Demovsky notes Vic Fangio, who also runs a 3-4, could be a candidate.
A former Steelers defensive back under Capers, Perry has coached the Packers’ safeties throughout Capers’ tenure as DC.
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