Dom Capers

Jaguars To Hire Dom Capers

The Jaguars are set to hire Dom Capers as a senior defensive assistant, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Capers will provide support to defensive coordinator Todd Wash as they manage one of the league’s top young defenses. 

Capers, 68, served as the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. His most recent employment came with the Packers, but after Green Bay ended his nine-year tenure as their DC, he did not coach in 2018. The Dolphins and Bengals both chased Capers, but the Jaguars ultimately won out.

The Bengals would have made Capers their DC, but the coaching veteran opted for a lesser title in Jacksonville instead. At this stage of his career, Capers may actually prefer a less demanding job.

Dom Capers is one of the most respected defensive coaches in the game today, and he has been for many years,” head coach Doug Marrone said in a press release. “His defenses have long been among the most effective and productive in the NFL. He has career experiences and accomplishments that will benefit our coaches and our players. He adds a unique perspective and veteran presence that will be valuable assets to immediately help us. I look forward to working with Dom and having him on our staff.”

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Dolphins Hire Jim Caldwell

The Dolphins have officially announced Jim Caldwell as their assistant head coach/QBs coach. Interestingly, their press release did not mention the hiring of Dom Capers as defensive coordinator, a move that has been expected over the last week. 

Caldwell, the former Colts and Lions head coach, interviewed with the Browns, Cardinals, and Jets this offseason for their head coaching vacancies. The Lions made the postseason twice during Caldwell’s tenure in Detroit. And, with the Colts, his teams went 26-22 with one AFC title and two divisional championships.

New Dolphins head coach Brian Flores does not have previous head coaching experience, but Caldwell can provide valuable counsel for him in his first year at the helm.

Capers, 68, recently turned down the Bengals’ DC job, leading many to believe that he would be sign on for the same role in Miami. As of this moment, that has not happened.

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Dom Capers Declines Bengals DC Job

Dom Capers has turned down the chance to become the Bengals’ defensive coordinator under new head coach Zac Taylor, according to Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link). Capers’ likeliest destination is now the Dolphins, where he’d serve as a senior defensive assistant, while the Jaguars are also a possible landing spot, per Marvez.

At age 68, Capers is 33 years old than Taylor, and like the other defensive coordinator candidates linked to the Bengals’ DC job, he’d bring a wealth of experience. Not only has Capers served as a defensive coordinator for multiple clubs, but he’s been a head coach at two stops (Panthers, Texans), meaning he could presumably offer counsel to Taylor as he enters his first head coaching job.

Capers was one of six coaches who have been tied to the Bengals. Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen received an extension from New Orleans, while former Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio is no longer considering the job. Ex-Bears head coach John Fox and Saints linebackers coach Mike Nolan have been mentioned as candidates, while Cincinnati earlier tonight requested an interview with Rams cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant.

Capers was thought to be a candidate for the Cardinals defensive coordinator job under Kliff Kingsbury, but that position ultimately went to former Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. If he joins Miami, Capers would advise a first-time head coach in Brian Flores and a rookie defensive coordinator in Patrick Graham. In Jacksonville, Capers would join a relatively established staff lead by head coach Doug Marrone and DC Todd Wash.

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Dolphins, Jaguars Interested In Dom Capers

Two former Dom Capers employers are interested in bringing the veteran defensive-minded coach back to Florida.

The Dolphins and Jaguars view Capers as a candidate to join their respective staffs as a senior defensive assistant, according to Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio (on Twitter).

These AFC teams join the Bengals in pursuing the longtime Packers defensive coordinator and two-time expansion team head coach (in each of the Panthers’ and Texans’ first four seasons). Capers, 68, served as the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator in the two years following his Panthers tenure, 1999-2000. From 2006-07, Capers was part of Miami’s staff.

After the Packers ended Capers’ nine-year tenure as their DC, he did not coach in 2018. He was connected to the Cardinals’ DC search, however.

Miami appointed Patrick Graham to be its DC, but GM Chris Grier said Monday his first-time coordinators — Graham and likely OC Chad O’Shea — will have veteran presences on staff as well. Jim Caldwell is signed on to coach on Brian Flores‘ staff, and Capers would have interest in coming aboard, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, unless he can land a DC job. The Bengals are the only team in this trio with a vacant DC position.

Promoting two position coaches, the Jags have rearranged their defensive staff to some degree this offseason. Capers coming to north Florida would pair him with incumbent DC Todd Wash.

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Bengals Interested In Dennis Allen For DC

The Bengals will formally announce Zac Taylor as their next head coach tomorrow, and the team has already tabbed Brian Callahan to serve as Taylor’s offensive coordinator.

There is less clarity on Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator vacancy, though a couple of big-name candidates have been mentioned as possibilities. Reports from two weeks ago suggested that Jack Del Rio and John Fox are potential targets, and now Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL Radio has added another name to the mix.

Per Marvez (Twitter link), the Bengals are interested in Dennis Allen, who has served as the Saints’ DC since taking over for Rob Ryan during the 2015 season. Allen has rebuilt his reputation in coaching circles after a difficult stint as the Raiders’ head coach from 2012-14, and his name has popped up as a head coaching candidate in the last couple of years. His unit ranked second in the league against the run and tied for fifth in the NFL in sacks in 2018.

In a separate tweet, Marvez appears to suggest that Allen is the Bengals’ top choice for the job and that Del Rio and Fox may no longer be under strong consideration. Marvez reports that, if Cincinnati cannot get Allen, the club will turn its attention to Dom Capers, who worked as the Packers’ DC from 2009-17.

We recently learned that Allen’s contract with New Orleans is up, so he is a free agent at the moment. The Saints reportedly want to keep him, but they now have some serious competition for his services.

Regardless of whom the Bengals hire as their next defensive coordinator, it looks as though they want an experienced candidate to pair with rookie head coach Taylor and rookie offensive coordinator Callahan.

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Cardinals Interested In Dom Capers For DC?

Longtime NFL defensive coordinator Dom Capers‘ name has been “kicked around” by the Cardinals and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Kingsbury is just 39 years old and has never coached at the NFL level in any capacity, leading Arizona general manager Steve Keim to remark that landing a veteran DC would be an “ideal” outcome (Twitter link via Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com). Moreover, given their history and personnel on defense, the Cardinals are interested in hiring a coordinator who will primarily deploy a 3-4 front.

Capers would fit both of those parameters. At age 68, he’s nearly 30 years older than Kingsbury, and he’s been coaching in the NFL since 1986 (with ample collegiate experience dating back to 1972). Not only has Capers served as a defensive coordinator for multiple clubs, but he’s been a head coach at two stops (Panthers, Texans), meaning he could presumably offer counsel to Kingsbury as the latter enters his first pro job.

Capers also runs a 3-4 scheme, and did so during the duration of his most recent NFL gig, a nine-year stint as the Packers’ DC. Green Bay’s defense admittedly struggled near the end of Capers’ run: in 2017, the Packers ranked just 22nd in total defense and 20th in defensive DVOA.

Arizona’s defense, meanwhile, ranked 17th in DVOA last season, and that figure may be even more impressive that it initially looks. Opposing offenses — on average — started their drives against the Cardinals on their own 29.5-yard line, the seventh-easiest starting position in the NFL. Additionally, Arizona’s offense’s drives were the shortest in the league in terms of elapsed clock (two minutes, sixteen seconds on average), meaning the club’s defense was constantly on the field.

Kingsbury will be calling offensive plays, tweets James Palmer of NFL Network, so he’ll need an established defensive mind in place. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, Kingsbury’s collegiate background could mean he doesn’t have the pro connections required to build out a staff. With that in in mind, Kingsbury says he’ll lean on Keim as he formulates his inaugural coaching group, per Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

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Packers Shake Up Coaching Staff

The Packers have decided to make dramatic changes in their coaching staff, the team has announced. Among the bigger news released today was that defensive coordinator Dom Capers officially been fired. It was already reported that the longtime coach was going to be let go a few days ago, but the news just confirmed by team officials today. Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and linebackers coach Scott McCurley were also officially relieved of their duties.

“I want to thank each of these men and their families for all that they gave to the Packers during their time here,” head coach Mike McCarthy added. “We enjoyed a lot of success together and they directly contributed to our accomplishments. These are difficult personal decisions and we hope for the best for their families moving forward.”

Tom Pellisero of NFL.com has also reported that current offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett will be reassigned to another post and that the Packers will allow quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt‘s contract to expire this offseason (Twitter link). It should be noted that both of these reported decisions are still awaiting confirmation from the team.

Edgar Bennett (Vertical)

Bennett had been on the Packers staff for awhile, serving in many roles, including the team’s player development, running backs, wide receivers coach since he joined the organization in 2001. He had been promoted to offensive coordinator at the start of the 2015 season. His role change will allow the team to hire an offensive coordinator from outside the organization.

Van Pelt was hired as the team’s running backs coach in 2012 was promoted to handle the team’s quarterbacks in 2014.

Both coaches have had the benefit of working with All-pro signal caller Aaron Rodgers over the past few years. But the offense showed significant flaws when Rodgers went down with injuries for a much of the 2017 season. Today’s news essentially confirms the speculation that the Packers could drastically alter their coaching staff in the weeks ahead since they missed the postseason for the first time since 2008.

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Coaching News: Packers, Cowboys, Giants

Earlier in the day, the Packers fired defensive coordinator Dom Capers. They continued to clean house on the defensive side of the ball later in the day, letting go of inside linebackers coach Scott McCurley and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports.

McCurley joined the Packers in 2006 as an intern but quickly moved his way up the ladder. For the last four years, he served as assistant linebackers coach and helped oversee the transition to young linebackers like Blake Martinez. An NFL coach since 1995, Trgovac had been with the Packers since 2009 following an extended stay as the defensive coordinator in Carolina.

Here is more from around the league on the coaching front:

  • The Broncos fired outside linebackers coach Fred Pagac on Monday, reports NBC 9 in Denver’s Mike Klis (Twitter link). Klis cites the lack of a pass rush following the departure of DeMarcus Ware as grounds for the dismissal. Shane Ray provided just one sack on the opposite side of Von Miller. The team also let go of defensive backs coach Johnnie Lynn.
  • New Giants general manager Dave Gettleman told the team’s assistant coaches they are free to look for other jobs without the Giants blocking the search, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (Twitter link). Among the names expected to draw interest from other teams includes interim head coach and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
  • Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson is expected to be let go, sources tell the Sporting News’ Alex Marvez (Twitter link). Marvez notes that more changes to the team’s offensive coaching staff are expected to come, one of which could be wide receivers coach Derek Dooley, who is reported to not being returning to Dallas by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link). Dooley denied the report, saying he has yet to meet with head coach Jason Garrett, Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams writes. The coaches have been with the team since 2007 and 2013, respectively.
  • After firing head coach Jim Caldwell, the Lions continued to overhaul its coaching staff by letting go of assistant head coach and offensive line coach Ron Prince, the team announced. Prince had been with the team since 2014.

Packers To Fire DC Dom Capers

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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Packers Expected To Part Ways With Dom Capers

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but the Packers are expected to part ways with longtime defensive coordinator Dom Capers, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. Capers, 67, has been with the team since 2009, but it appears as if his ninth season will be his last.

Capers’ unit will finish outside the top-15 in league rankings for the sixth time in the past seven years, and the last time it enjoyed a top-10 ranking was in 2010, when the Packers won the Super Bowl. Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Capers could step down or retire to avoid the ignominy of a firing.

Silverstein opines that Green Bay has the makings of a solid defense, but that moving on from Capers is essential. He also believes that the team needs to bring in a new coordinator from outside the organization to provide the defense with a completely fresh start. He looks at some of the top names that could be available, including current Bears DC Vic Fangio and current Lions DC Teryl Austin, though it does not appear that there are currently any substantive rumors linking the Packers to the names on Silverstein’s list.

Capers, meanwhile, is probably prepared to call it a career. He broke into the league with the Saints in 1986 and has twice served as a head coach (for the expansion Panthers in 1995 and the expansion Texans in 2002). He has one Super Bowl ring, which, as noted above came as Green Bay’s DC in 2010.