First of all, the hiring of Dom Capers is great, great news for the Green Bay Packers, no matter what you read about his Wikipedia page. Yes, Capers was a mediocre to terrible head coach. Has everyone already forgoten Dick LeBeau’s stint as a head coach? He was awful. And is now the coordinator of the NFL’s number one defense that just happens to be going to the Super Bowl. So let’s all put the “He was awful as a head coach – he must be terrible!” thread behind us, shall we?
Furthermore, I know there are people who don’t like the idea of a re-tread coach, esp one that has been a head coach before because the feeling is they are only hired guns that are angling for another head coaching job. These same people want to hire a young, up-and-coming coach to eliminate the possibility of losing a coordinator too soon after he is hired. Bunk. I hope these same people read about Spagnola taking the head coaching job in St. Louis. He was in New York, what, two years? The point is, McCarthy needed a professional this time around, not some guy just cutting his teeth at the coordinator level. If a coordinator does well, he will get looked at for coaching vacancies. That’s just how it works. One thing McCarthy indicated in his presser today was that he was looking for an experience coordinator, which I think he basically was forced to do after this years’ debacle.
Also in his press conference, McCarthy declared unequivocally that the Packers are going to become a 3-4 team. It’s been a long time since the Green Bay Packers ran the 3-4 and when they did, the results were not pretty. But a lot has happened both in Green Bay and in the NFL since then. I also think it will be fascinating to watch Thompson work to shift the roster to accommodate this shift in scheme. I don’t think the change will be as drastic as most people believe. (I am concerned however when McCarthy says that Ryan Pickett is a natural nose tackle for the 3-4. Um, no, he’s not. He’s a decent bigman that can eat up blockers, but that’s it. He’s no Wilfork, Jenkins or Rodgers. If Thompson and McCarthy stand pat there, things will get late real early on the defensive side of the ball.)
Overall, I am more excited about the Packer defense now than I have been since Reggie White was terrorizing quarterbacks, and they haven’t even released a depth chart yet. But Dom Capers is an excellent step in the right direction.
(I’ll have more about McCarthy and the firing of the defensive staff in a day or two. Suffice it to say, I’m getting sick of the ‘McCarthy is clearly desperate to have made such a drastic move’ meme that has surfaced over the last week, reactions that I think are overblown and not a little ridiculous.)