Mike McCarthy Refrains From Insight on Dom Capers' Future

If there really is a decision that is soon to be made on Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, coach Mike McCarthy didn't address it on Sunday.

McCarthy was adamant after the Packers' loss in Detroit that he was at that postgame podium to answer questions about the game and the game only, according to ESPN's Rob Demovsky

"Let me say this, I'll answer questions about the Packers versus the Lions today, OK," McCarthy said, shutting down any questions before they were even muttered. "I get where we're at this point of the season. I haven't been in this position for a number of years, but I'm here to answer questions about the game, so let's not waste each other's time."

McCarthy was right -- he hasn't been in this position for quite some time. The last time he needed to make a staff decision on one of his defensive coordinators was when he fired Bob Sanders a week after the Packers' regular-season finale of the 2008 season.

Four days later, Capers was fired and commenced the Packers' defensive scheme transition from 4-3 to 3-4. Almost nine years later, we could be looking at the opposite depending on who the Packers bring in.

Some possible candidates to replace Capers include Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, who isn't expected to return to the team in 2018 as well. Along with Lewis, Vic Fangio is one of the more popular choices amongst fans and one of the more better-suited coaches for the job.

Defenses coordinated by Fangio have been in the top-ten of NFL defensive rankings for five out of the last seven seasons. Fangio was the San Francisco 49ers' defensive coordinator for four seasons before venturing to Chicago to commandeer a Bears defense that was eighth in yards allowed in 2017.

After three seasons with the team, he's set to become a free agent this offseason and was linked to the Packers by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. 

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford finished with over 320 yards passing and a 140.4 passer rating against the Packers' defense en route to 35 points, all but setting in stone that Green Bay will finish near the bottom of the barrel in points per game for the second year in a row. Stafford threw for over 360 yards in this season's earlier meeting at Lambeau Field.

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (58)

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:17 pm

Questions about this game yeah I got one Mike what the hell happened out there

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ZacharyJacobson's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:20 pm

"pad level"

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NickPerry's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:24 pm

Hey!!! He's a "Highly Successful NFL Coach!"

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ShanghaiKid's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:06 pm

He’ll need to go back and watch the tape before he has answers about that question.

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Marxman's picture

January 01, 2018 at 01:54 am

They've "just gotta get back to the fund-a-mentals."

How about some conditioning and some contact in practice, seeing as your team is DECIMATED by the Bye Week, every season.

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dobber's picture

January 01, 2018 at 05:29 am

What happened is what you'd expect to happen on the road against a mostly healthy lineup when you're intentionally playing a lot of 2nd and 3rd stringers.

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fthisJack's picture

January 01, 2018 at 07:23 am

too many "periods of negativity".......mostly by him!

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DukeDivine's picture

January 01, 2018 at 10:34 am

"Fundamentals and pad level were the issues that I easily recognized due to my highly successful NFL coaching career. Oh yeah, and Dom is a great coach just like Shawn Slocum was."

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Turophile's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:22 pm

Who is the bald guy in the picture that often stands next to McCarthy ? I don't recognise him.

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badaxed's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:32 pm

The bald guy is "Mr Clean", as we will get this cleaned up. Lol

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GVPacker's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:40 pm

The Bald guy is Clay Matthews hair stylist, he'll be back next year!

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holmesmd's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:33 pm

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/packers-will-reportedly-cut-ties-with...

Uumm, am I the only one who gets news feeds? Lol. He’s out. Let’s hope the replacement is just 10% better and we can get some CB’s & edge rushers. The Pack should be fine then?!

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:11 pm

Ummm, No.

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GVPacker's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:28 pm

They need a new training staff too! Way too many injuries again, hey Doc Holmes why don't you apply?

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NickPerry's picture

January 01, 2018 at 05:41 am

https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/report-dom-capers-not-expected-to-return-t...

This was posted yesterday right here on CHTV so no, your not the only one. I'm also looking for a hell of a lot more than 10% which might only raise us to the LOW 20's in Total Defense. Edge rushers and CB's..Yes please!

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Tundraboy's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:37 pm

Time for a bold smart move. Fangio or a new HC and Fangio. I'll take his track record and conference experience. Personally Gruden/ Fangio would shake things up.

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jimtalkbox's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:38 pm

Hoping for Fangio (Chicago/San Fran) or Guenther (Cincinnati) as the new D-Coordinator. If we can generate a better pass rush with either personnel or scheme, this team will be sitting pretty this time next year.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 01, 2018 at 10:23 am

I saw Guenther mentioned as Gruden's choice to be DC in Oakland.

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nostradanus's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:47 pm

I believe Thompson & McCarthy are going "all in" in 2018, they have no choice. They are on the back end of their 2nd HOF QB and there careers will most likely end with him. They must go all in now, 2022 does not matter, what matters is right now moving forward the next 3-4 years. Super Bowl

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Big_Mel_75's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:14 pm

By all in you mean drafting 3 OLB from the Pac -12 and signing worthless free agents. Then yes all in. My all in would be firing TT, MM, DC

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4thand1's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:29 pm

Yes, WTF, don't they have any defensive scouts anywhere else?

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Tundraboy's picture

January 01, 2018 at 12:11 am

Lmao. Happy New Year.

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Malland56's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:51 pm

Heard on Packer radio that Capers is gone. Sounded like a sure thing.

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badaxed's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:01 pm

A head coach who allows his team to get this messed up should be shown the door along with his entire staff. Time for a new system with new ideas and new personnel who are accountable for their actions.

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lebowski's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:37 pm

McCarthy deserves heavy criticism. The defense's failures are well documented but he oversees the offense and they still played the vast majority of these games with Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley and Jahri Evans on the O line, Nelson, Cobb, Adams, R Rodgers, Kendricks, Jamal Williams, and a QB that has spent 3 years learning the offense.... and they looked inept. Pat Shurmur in Minnesota has lost TWO starting QBs and a potential offensive rookie candidate in Cook and a revamped line and they've managed to maximize the production to complement their D. I'd be fine with whoever they want to show the door after this year.

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Coldworld's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:07 pm

As I see it we are criticizing Mike for overseeing a tanking—which seems like the best policy. There are plenty of issues to pick at but I am not unhappy with the best draft position available approach. We also learned some good things about a few fringe players. I hope we have the strength of mind to cut ties with some of those that showed no NFL potential. Sadly one of those has to be Hundley.

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Houndog's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:20 pm

ColdWorld,
We're not ONLY criticizing McPuffy for overseeing "A tanking", we're also criticizing him for NOT seeing that Hundley does NOT belong in an NFL uniform (to which you've already agreed)! Just clarifying! But then, to expand on that, should a Head Coach that can't see that difference be kept around? I think not!
Start with Murphy and clean house.

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HankScorpio's picture

January 01, 2018 at 10:26 am

Am I the only one that sees "McPuffy" or McFatty or whatever other unclever name used for, well, anyone on the team. and then simply scrolls on?

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DukeDivine's picture

January 01, 2018 at 10:38 am

Mashed Potato Mike is way more creative and rolls off the tongue. I agree. Lets just stick with Mashed Potato Mike while he refers to the giant Applebees menu. When in doubt go with the taters Mike!

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HankScorpio's picture

January 01, 2018 at 12:14 pm

I'm glad you enjoy it. I'm sure many others do as well.

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dobber's picture

January 01, 2018 at 12:55 pm

You're my hero, Hank!

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PACKERNICK's picture

January 03, 2018 at 06:34 am

I skip over the name calling comments. Never thought it was constructive
criticism.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 01, 2018 at 02:25 pm

Mike McCarthy's keeping Hundley why do you think he took him out in the last 2 minutes of the game . Hundley is his guy he wants. Mike McCarthy is insane literally bonkers I would do some kind of testing on him I'm dead serious

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Coldworld's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:07 pm

As I see it we are criticizing Mike for overseeing a tanking—which seems like the best policy. There are plenty of issues to pick at but I am not unhappy with the best draft position available approach. We also learned some good things about a few fringe players. I hope we have the strength of mind to cut ties with some of those that showed no NFL potential. Sadly one of those has to be Hundley.

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badaxed's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:16 pm

Not sad. Pathetic. This guy is Not an NFL qb. To try to force this guy down our throuts's is a travesty. McCarthy is an idiot. Go back to Pittsburg and bartending.

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Ustabeayooper's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:24 pm

Let's be honest. GB had no intention of winning these last two games. Preseason started when we were eliminated. Improving our draft position with 11 draft picks was the most important objective. The team signed it's most important FAs. 2018 started 2 weeks ago. No use whining about 2017. Let's move on.

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4thand1's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:35 pm

I totally agree. We knew the season was over and thank God we lost to the Panthers. There was no point in trying to win and lose more good spots for the draft. If this front office and coaching staff can't find some really good starters now, next season is it for them. A lot of people over the last few years have been calling for the team to tank, now we'll see how this works out.

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fthisJack's picture

January 01, 2018 at 07:34 am

how do you justify losing when you have every intention of winning the game with a QB thats been in the system for 3 years who you thought would be adequate enough to come in and win games. Hundley is not the guy and this should have been known like a year ago at the very least.
what doesn't MM or TT understand about having an experienced back up
QB that can come in and not look completely lost?

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badaxed's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:17 pm

Here is how it goes in Green Bay:
Mark Murphy does not want to tell Ted Thompson how to do his job so he doen't.
Ted Thompson does not want to tell Mike McCartthy how do do his job so he doesn-t.
Mike McCarthy doesn't want to tell Com Capers how to do his job so he doesn't.
Com Capers does not want To tell his players how to do their jobs so he does't
Since no one wants to tell anyone how to do their jobs, nothing gets done.
Hmmmmmmmm. See the pattern here?

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pacman's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:23 pm

What's the justification for firing DC and keeping TT? Unless TT claims that DC told him he doesn't need any more/better players which is unlikely. Both have clear failures to perform.

MM should go with Hundley - which might mean that Hundley remains the backup.

I'm really curious what AR says about all this. Not that we will ever know.

I'm glad I didn't watch todays game. Took the grandkids to the aquarium. A much more productive day. A merciful end to a very telling and sad season in GB.

Just one last point - who's going to be picking AR's heir apparent in a few years? I certainly hope MM is not around when that happens.

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CAG123's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:39 pm

I don’t see why everyone is on the fire MM wagon this is only his second losing season, only the third time he’s missed the playoffs, first time in 8 years. Hell Mike Tomlin has 2 8-8 seasons under his belt, has had the best RB, WR, and a top 5 QB for 5 seasons and some pretty good defenses and his seat is nice and comfy he hasn’t won a SB since 2008. Tomlin inherited a team and MM had to build his. The Packers need a new defensive staff and possibly a new trainer with all these damn injuries. Point is with those top flight offensive and defensive players the Steelers have they haven’t won squat and even they new it was time to part from their legendary DC and and adjust, MM needs that same opportunity.

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stockholder's picture

January 01, 2018 at 12:07 am

Tt should go. I just don't TRUST in TED. The new GM should decide on MM. I'm sure A-rod has some more input. A-Rod may not be the same MVP player if MM leaves.

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fthisJack's picture

January 01, 2018 at 07:46 am

i totally disagree. when you have the best QB in the league and allow the defense to languish in the dregs of the league for 7 years and expect the offense to overcome this handicap every game, its on MM shoulders that he didn't do anything to improve that side of the ball. he can pack along with Capers as far as i'm concerned.

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CAG123's picture

January 01, 2018 at 08:28 am

Top 5 QB and I repeat the BEST RB AND WR in the league for 5 years and better defenses 0 titles and 0 appearances plus a team that can be extremely undisciplined at times Tomlin is still employed. MM players haven’t quit on him and he still has the team, that means something.

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rstain99's picture

January 01, 2018 at 07:59 am

The reason he needs to go is he is overseeing the whole group, there was enough offense these past couple of years to advance to the SB, instead every year the defense lets them down. Capers should have been fired after Kapernick did them in with the option 12-13? They have wasted AR career he may have 3 good left in him but until that defense is straightened out this is going to continue. Look at past SB winners, NE, Denver, Baltimore all respectable on defense if not great. All I see from here in New England the palms up expression from those GB def backs (was not my guy) duh? Ha Ha is way overrated so is Burnett, too much money there let them walk. Need good corners first this group is forever lost in coverage. Better schemes to rush QB LB's are serviceable, def line ok too just need to stay healthy. so new strength coach needed, guys need to be football players not give in. Bill Belichek says big difference are you hurt or injured too many times I think Pack give in to being hurt. Life long Packer fan living in Boston all I hear how great Pats are so sick of it. Yesterday's game was like going to the dentist, thank god this has come to an end. At least I have Celts, Bruins to cheer for.

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CAG123's picture

January 01, 2018 at 08:23 am

Enough offense? So we’re just going to ignore 2015 or the first half of 2016? I’m pretty sure the defense did all it could do against the Cardinals in the playoffs all things considered it took 2 Rodgers Hail Marys to get it to OT and eventually the youth (Randall) blew a coverage the same can be said about Seattle both games the defense held tough and got multiplayer turnovers. The whole thing is silly and that’s the stuff losing franchises do Tom Coughlin and Marvin Lewis are two more coaches given more leeway with less results it’s only fair to see what a new DC brings.

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Marxman's picture

January 01, 2018 at 02:03 am

Like how McCarthy says the team will be moving forward. Not with your play calling...

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dobber's picture

January 01, 2018 at 05:33 am

Didn't we learn from the Carolina game that with #12 under center it doesn't matter too much what MM is calling?

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Barnacle's picture

January 01, 2018 at 06:58 am

McCarthy and Thompson are bigger problems than Capers. Capers was just poorly managed.

The draft and promote culture for versatility is a big part of the problem. Who do you think is more likely to get injured, a player in his normal position or one playing several different positions? Who is likely to perform better, a jack of all trades or a master of one.

Capers intricate and versatile defense is too complex for a draft and developed team. These rookies and sophomores are overwhelmed with learning multiple positions and adapting to the NFL.

Aaron Rogers did most of McCarthys job and we see what happens when Mc Carthy plays are used in a game. Rodgers would change plays frequently because McCarthy made stupid play calls. Without Rodgers, McCarthys incompetence was apparent.

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dobber's picture

January 01, 2018 at 07:34 am

"McCarthy and Thompson are bigger problems than Capers. Capers was just poorly managed."

How was he poorly managed? He was given pieces to work with and on an annual basis his ability to make lemonade from lemons deteriorated to the point where they were putting a product on the field that was substantially less than the sum of its parts. I think the complexity argument falls apart when a defense degenerates over the course of the season rather than getting better. If you buy the complexity argument, then the bottom line is that DC coached his way out of a job by not being willing to simplify.

In the end, virtually every coordinator is handed a slate of players that they need to do something with. By and large, coordinators aren't picking their own guys. I don't think the game has passed DC by...he's doing things that many other teams are doing. I don't think he had a unit devoid of talent. I think--in the end--he couldn't figure out how to use the pieces in a way that took advantage of what his players could do, and he couldn't build on what he had to cover losses.

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Barnacle's picture

January 01, 2018 at 08:26 am

The head coach should have required Capers to simplify his defense. Instead every year there was more complexity added. The Green Bay culture under McCarthy is more versatility and more fancy ideas that only the coaches understand. The players are out on the field thinking about their new position or the new razzle dazzle play rather than automatically responding to the situation.

Do you think Capers added complexity to his defenses without McCarthys knowledge? Either way, McCarthy is the problem.

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dobber's picture

January 01, 2018 at 05:29 pm

This might be the first time I've seen the words "razzle dazzle" applied to the Packers in years...

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Donster's picture

January 01, 2018 at 07:03 am

I'm not surprised that MM didn't fire Capers after the game. Most organizations wait until the team and staff return home from an away game to drop the axe. MM's history has been when he has fired a DC (Bob Sanders) or other coach, he has waited at least a week to do it. He just better not screw around and wait to long, because if there are good DC's fired in the next few days, he better not sit on his thumb and wait. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he will start the interview process even before he tells Capers bu-bye. He may have already have done it, or they have agreed to letting Capers retire to save face. My fear is that instead of going outside of the organization to hire a DC, they just promote from within, like Winston Moss or Joe Whitt. To me that staff is tainted and all need to be swept out of the house.

Personally, my feelings are Capers and TT have to go this week. And I would be happy if MM was gone too. His pig-headed attitude with Hundley, how he doesn't make any real offensive changes, has a RB like Williams, who played his guts out yesterday, but won't use him as often as he should once Rodgers gets back, as he is so damn pass oriented that he forgets about running the ball after the middle of the first quarter. If he is so great a coach, he should be able to see that his offensive line would perform better if they ran the ball more instead of pass blocking constantly. If MM stays around, next season he must take advantage of the young RB's much more. And Rodgers may be partially at fault for constantly changing the play at the line of scrimmage. I think he has such a mindset that he has to be the one to make the plays to win, instead of having his RB's take the load off his back some.

Special teams coach Zook and the Strength and Conditioning coordinator Lovat need to go too. Lovat has been with the Pack 19 years and 8th as the S&C coordinator according to Packers.com. Seems to me that points to why this team has so many injuries. His system isn't working. Also, I think some of the blame belongs to TT, as he has drafted many injury prone players. I don't think he takes that into account much. That he concentrates on "draft the best athlete available" method. The thing is, are the players he drafts actually that? TT and Belichick are the longest tenured GM's in the league. TT can't come close to Belichick. TT just needs to go and refresh the organization. And Murphy is a joke. 10 years and hasn't had to make any kind of football decision. He needs to fire TT, or tell him to retire or else. Murphy is doing a good job and making the team money in other ways other than football. But if the team continues to slide into mediocrity because he won't pull the trigger, the organization will start to lose a lot of money overall. He knows he has the seats filled, but all the other money that comes in will start to dwindle.

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Donster's picture

January 01, 2018 at 08:33 am

Bears just fired head coach John Fox.

Lions just fired head coach Jim Caldwell

Raiders fired head coach Jack Del Rio yesterday.

Colts fired head coach Chuck Pagano yesterday.

So if the Pack indeed want Fangio, they better act quickly.

Hey maybe we can trade MM for a few of their best defensive players. If MM does for Trubisky what he has done with Hundley, the Bears will stay in the cellar for years to come!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 01, 2018 at 02:20 pm

Vic fangio was under the tutelage of Dom Capers I don't know if you want to go there and start the insanity all over again!!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 01, 2018 at 02:21 pm

I would lean more to the Jaguars defensive line coach or Adam Zimmer

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egbertsouse's picture

January 01, 2018 at 08:42 am

MM may do with Dom what he did with Slocum, fire him and replace him with an assistant. We then get Dom-lite for the next 7 years just as we have with Zook on ST.

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DukeDivine's picture

January 01, 2018 at 10:48 am

My worst nightmare! What the heck has Perry or moss done besides be apart of this annual failure? They get praised for being part of the problem.... Not sure where the praise comes from. They haven't done crap to help the team improve and if they get promoted I'm officially on the "clean the entire house " side. Show moss and Perry the door too! Enough of this status quo of failure.

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