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Packers Officially Part Ways With DC Dom Capers

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Packers Officially Part Ways With DC Dom Capers

To coincide with this weekend's reports, the Green Bay Packers will indeed need to find a new defensive coordinator.

ESPN's Rob Demovsky reported Monday morning that Dom Capers had been relieved of his duties as early as immediately following Sunday's loss in Detroit. Other reports believe he was fired after the Packers returned home to Green Bay.

Capers had been with the team since 2009 and helped field a top-five defense in 2010 that was one of the driving forces -- if not the biggest of all -- that helped the Packers win a Super Bowl that season. Ever since, however, the Packers have finished outside the top-15 in defensive rankings for six of the last seven years.

They finished 22nd this season en route to missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, before Capers was even with the team. A large factor to that was losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone in the week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. But even without Rodgers, the Packers' defense was a ghastly portrayal of the same song and dance that we've seen the last two seasons.

Defensive backs were playing significantly deep in coverage in order to prevent chunk plays, though, that's exactly what the opposing offense would get. Players have been confused before the snap, playing far off their intended assignment and have just lacked the ability to understand Capers' zone scheme, evidently.

The change was needed, and the change was received. Where does coach Mike McCarthy go from here?

Jason Wilde, also of ESPN, noted that McCarthy will consider in-house candidates among those as a potential replacement at defensive coordinator. It's also expected that Capers won't be the only coaching staff change.

Candidates include cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr., safeties coach Darren Perry, defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and associate head coach Winston Moss. Moss, who was signed aboard the Packers originally in 2006 as the linebackers coach, is requested to be interviewed by the Detroit Lions for a coaching position, according to NFL.com's Tom Pelissero.

EDITOR'S NOTE: More changes reported: DL coach Mike Trgovac and ILB coach Scott McCurley have been let go, in addition to Capers. 

The announcement of Capers' removal comes on the first day of 2018, just a day after McCarthy refrained from any questions on Capers' future. 

"Let me say this, I'll answer questions about Packers versus Lions today, OK," McCarthy said after Sunday's loss in Detroit. "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."

It took McCarthy over a week to relieve former defensive coordinator Bob Sanders of his duties following the 2008 season finale. Ever since, special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum after the 2014 season was the only other coordinator fired under McCarthy. Capers will be the third.

__________________________

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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (122) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

The TKstinator's picture

FINALLY!
And please let the replacement be someone from outside the organization.

bjkdad44's picture

Indeed!

Dzehren's picture

Exactly. Bruce Arians retired today. Let’s go after Arizona’s D coordinated James Bettcher or Chicago’s Vic Fangio whose contract expires today.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I'd add Mike Barrow from the Seahawks to that list.

ShanghaiKid's picture

I know I count myself in the majority who have wanted Fangio here in GB for a long time. They need to do everything they can to bring him in.

pooch's picture

Do not promote anyone from current staff please.Now Ted can announce his retirement and this may take some of sting away from this season

Houndog's picture

Pooch,
Dilly, Dilly, you nailed it!
Hiring from within is to just maintain the same level of comfort with no one truly concerned for their jobs!
I was hoping the reason McPuffy hadn't announced it yesterday was that maybe the whole $hit would be fired, Murphy, TT, and McPuffy.
So far, no such luck!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

And I'm not even too sure about that Vic guy the Chicago Bears defensive coordinator because he was under Dom Capers.

I would probably go with the defensive line coach for the Jaguars or adam Zimmer.

dobber's picture

Clearly you have no idea how far the 'Dom Capers' coaching tree reaches.

Irish_Cheesehead's picture

Fangio has fielded top defenses wherever he's been.

Houndog's picture

The difference being that Vic Fangio is able to adjust during the game, Capers wasn't.
He did a hell of a job with the 49er's during Harbaugh's time here, and I thought he was good. But he also inherited some talent with the 9er's and he's kind of a linebackers 'guru'. But then McPuffy is supposed to be some kind of a quarterback guru, checking Brett Hundley's bio and stats should put that to rest!

Bear's picture

Fangio’s Chicago defense finished 10 th this year. He’s been consistent as a defensive coordinator. He will have other offers and we probably won’t get him.

Lphill's picture

The 2018 season is looking up already!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

And I don't want any Rex Ryan or Rob Ryan either and no promotion within the organization that's definitely a no-go.

dobber's picture

Good luck to you, Dom.

I don't care who the next guy is or where he comes from--I'd prefer outside of the organization to an internal promotion--so long as he can do the job well. It's the results that matter.

Brian's picture

We don't care until they name him. Then the opinions will clearly be posted. Fans won't be patient enough for results! This is America!

dobber's picture

You're right: there won't be any honeymoon for the new DC.

croatpackfan's picture

Oh, how wrong you are. First TD D will allow, I can bet, we will read here how Packers need new DC!

KenEllis's picture

Should not have taken this long.

5 years too late Mike.

Now, the spotlight is on you (and Ted).

Good luck with the new hire, we need an inspired choice as the new DC.

Nick Perry's picture

WTF!!!! Why the "thumbs down"?

It IS 5 years to late!

The spotlight IS on MM and TT now!

We DO need an inspired choice at DC!

We all watched the ENTIRE team go 3-7, it wasn't just the defense. Shutout by the Ravens and Vikings and a rat ass 8 points in week 17 was on the OFFENSE and Capers doesn't coach offense. And ALL of these players are who Thompson has picked or acquired.

Hey sports fans, the Packers are Aaron Rodgers and not much else and now EVERYBODY knows it. It's up to the "Highly Successful HC" and the GM who hasn't taken a picture without his mouth looking like a fly trap since he got here to change it and do it in a hurry!

croatpackfan's picture

Be happy. TT is out, too...

dobber's picture

The interesting piece about this 'not expected to be the only coaching staff change' piques my interest. It was reiterated by Demovsky, too...
espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/21934687/green-bay-packers-fire-defensive-coordinator-dom-capers

I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see McCarthy negotiate position coaches with the new DC, and I'm expecting it to be a household name.

Personally, I think that Alex Van Pelt might be on the chopping block on the offensive side. People bitch about McCarthy's tutelage of Hundley, but once the preseason starts, it's really on the position coaches to handle adjustments and week-to-week management of the players. Nobody is holding Van Pelt accountable.

Bearmeat's picture

I personally hope it's either a fire-breather of a DC (which I seriously doubt will happen as that would rock the boat and MM doesn't like that), or a newbie. So I'm hoping it's a new name. I guess I'd be ok with Fangio. He's been solid on bad Bears teams for years and his 9ers defenses were wicked.

As far as the position coaches go? The more that can get fired on defense, the better. And I'd also be happy to see Angelichio gone as well as Van Pelt. And Hundley. :)

HankScorpio's picture

I'm curious why Vic Fangio is ok with you but John Fox draws a negative reaction.

Bearmeat's picture

Because Vic Fangio has a track record as an excellent defensive coordinator over the past 10 years. John Fox has not been a DC since 1999. Plus, John Fox is a company man through and through. I don't want an NFL lifer like Capers. I want fresh, new, recent ideas.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Because Fangio is a good DC and Fox is a shitty HC. We only need the former as we might already have the later.

HankScorpio's picture

Fox was a shitty HC because he had shitty offenses. That's not a concern with this particular job opening.

Fox earned a HC job because he was such a good DC. Generally speaking, NFL HCs are more hands-on with the side of the ball that is their background. So I don't get why the job the one with lesser authority and accountability did in the same place makes the subordinate a good choice and the head guy a poor one.

And I certainly don't get why Fox is an NFL Lifer but Fangio isn't. Fangio has been around the NFL for longer than Fox but a small amount.

I guess I shall remain confused. But that's ok. It happens a lot.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Go watch a Fox presser. If you can't figure out why I'm not interested then we'll just have to disagree.

HankScorpio's picture

I don't waste my time with press conferences. so we'll have to agree to disagree.

Bure9620's picture

For a fire breather, Schiano would be perfect, total hard ass that puts up with nothing. He would bring the best out of guys like HHCD.

HankScorpio's picture

I would think any new DC is going to want to bring in at least some others of his choosing. Even if MM wants to put a condition of taking one or two from the current staff, I would expect other defensive coaches to follow Capers out of town. This would be a bigger deal if they decline an in-house promotion to DC, which is my clear choice.

In terms of offense, I've seen several reports that Luke Getsy is going to the NCAA.

Hematite's picture

New blood please!

gmeyers1's picture

Find the best replacement. It doesn't matter if the guy worked with Capers along the way or not. Someone who will get the most out of the players on the Packers roster. Find the best replacement.

Lphill's picture

New offensive coordinator should be Aaron Rodgers.

dobber's picture

I wouldn't be surprised if McAdoo comes back in some capacity. Edgar Bennett better not get too comfy...

Wilson Maywick's picture

That's a hot take Dobber. Interesting idea.

Qoojo's picture

Nice to see that MM did not wait a week or two, and potentially miss out on some external DC candidates.

rdent's picture

The news we have been waiting for. Now lets see the new DC light a fire under that defense starting with Clinton Dix.

badaxed's picture

The only way to light a fire under Dix's ass is with gasoline. What a wimp. He does not cover and does not want to hit anyone let alone tackle.

Bearmeat's picture

This is great and about 5 seasons overdue. Unfortunately, it also means that TT and MM will not be fired. Why fire the DC when you are about to be fired yourself?

The best we can hope for is that the upcoming lame duck season for MM serves as notice for the entire organization that they'd better get their poop together and start fielding a full quality team - not just a great QB.

MM will probably get an extension at some point in the offseason though. I'll be ticked if it's for more than 1 year. TT's contract is up after the draft in 2019. I'm pretty sure we're stuck with both until April of 2019. So....16 more months? 1 more wasted season and ARod going on 36 before the other two parts of the Three Amigos are gone? Ugh.

Tundraboy's picture

Very likely were stuck with MM and TT, but God I hope not. Tired of half measures.

Brian's picture

I understand the frustration with MM and TT. I tend to think MM stays for a few reasons one of them Aaron Rodgers. I doubt that he'd want a new coach at this point in his career. I'm hoping TT has been delegating more responsibility to Eliot and Brian.

croatpackfan's picture

You are on! Believe it or not, Aaron contract is not extended, because Aaron is waiting the words about MM destiny. He will follow Mike McCarthy!

You do not believe?

Your problem!

lou's picture

Staying inside the building is a slim chance, Trgovic who had prior DC experience is the only one with any background at that level. Whitt would be a major surprise based on the recent secondary performance and Perry like a previous co-ordinator (Sherm Lewis) has multiple DUI's, in today's NFL that is a red flag. I would have loved Wade Phillips at the start of 2017 but hindsight is always 20-20. In regards to inside the building, they will need to move fast to lock up a DC if they want to retain any of the assistants from this year.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Finally!!!!!!!!

4 years too late but finally!

I feel like you feel when you finally cough out food stuck down the wrong pipe.

badaxed's picture

Or the relaxed feeling when you clear out the lower pipes. Which is somewhat what we have just done. Wait I think there is still some in there. mmmmmmm, ttttttttttt, ahhhhhhhh.

gmeyers1's picture

They moved quickly with the firing. Maybe that means they want someone who won't be available very long. The successor might already lined up.

Mojo's picture

Agree. They've been looking at this for a couple of weeks already.

dobber's picture

"The successor might already be lined up"

That can really only be true if the successor wasn't coaching. Otherwise the Packers are potentially guilty of tampering with coaches which could lead to some heavy penalties.

HankScorpio's picture

Demovsky is reporting that Mike Trgovac and Scott McCurley are out as well.

http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0739586426424794856-4

Turophile's picture

I did find tht interesting, since ILB and DL has had more recent success than OLB, CB, S.

Bearmeat's picture

Exactly. Darren Perry needs to go too. The whole damn staff. Including Winston Moss.

stockholder's picture

I've been saying Moss since Greene left, Perry can go too.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

The only one they should even ponder keeping is Joe Whitt.

HankScorpio's picture

Whitt has been the lone bright spot on the defensive staff this decade, IMO. Earlier this year, I was thinking that might be changing. But it was remarkable how Damarious Randall turned things around. I think he's earned an interview.

But I definitely prefer they bring in someone from outside to in-staff promotion.

Bure9620's picture

Surprised to hear about Trgovac, If anything I would think he could be a DC candidate, maybe his history with Capers?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I'm pretty sure they are all gonna go.

stockholder's picture

It means their switching from the 3-4-4. About Time.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Not necessarily.

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

Id say about a 50% chance they're switching schemes, that's presuming they don't just go after 3-4 D coordinators bc of current roster personnel.

Bure9620's picture

An off the radar candidate should be Greg Schiano. He's a hard ass and that is what this defense needs right now. I also think he's a really good coach. Not worrying about the 3-4, 4-3 conversion. In today's NFL the difference between the 2 is minimal right now.

HankScorpio's picture

Tom Crabtree was not a fan of Schiano as a NFL HC. He played under Schiano in TB after he left GB. He basically said that Schiano's style does not translate well to the pro game.

Bure9620's picture

Yes probably not as a head coach I agree, but as a coordinator I think he could have success, this defense needs attitude and someone to get after them.

dobber's picture

There's a huge difference in the temperament of a HC and a coordinator.

HankScorpio's picture

Good point.

4zone's picture

Dom walked away with a SB ring with us. Can't take that away. Too bad it wasn't one or two more.

rdent's picture

If Capers had a couple more SB rings he wouldn't be leaving. That defense has a lot to do with why GB doesn't have a couple more rings.

4thand1's picture

Typical with the Packers with everything. They wait forever to make changes that need to be made. Everyone agrees that this took way too long. Usually when OC's and DC's get the ax the head coach isn't far behind. People in GB should be nervous, SB or bust, just making the playoffs shouldn't be ok next year.

Bearmeat's picture

Don't forget: Three-Years-Down-The-Road-Ted is still in charge. It's NEVER Super Bowl or Bust with him.

J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

"Three-Years-Down-The-Road-Ted!!" now that has to be the funniest thing on the internet today

Bure9620's picture

Well that is certainly a possibility considering this a will be a contract year for MM. I think TT truly goes all in this year.
FA moves, trading up in the draft, we have 4 comp picks to get aggressive with. If '18 resembles anything we saw this year McCarthy is definitely squarely on the hot seat.

Mojo's picture

The Trgovac and McCurley firings could mean they already have a DC in mind who wants to bring along his own guys.

Bearmeat's picture

That's what I wondered too. Firing the position coaches of the only two positions on defense that didn't absolutely blow goats all year doesn't make sense unless they have a guy in mind.

Personally, I'd like to see the entire defensive staff go too.

4zone's picture

Why was Whitt still there?

4zone's picture

Bearmeat, typically you fire the coordinator and the new coordinator makes the decision who to keep and who to fire on his staff.

Free agent's picture

Bring them on in. Time to wipe the slate clean of that defensive coaching staff. Seems the defense was always confused and out of position. And the problems never got corrected or fixed.

Brian's picture

Agreed. A high colonic. Let the new DC hire his own assistants.

Qoojo's picture

I disagree. It could mean that they have already hired a DC, but have not announced it. I doubt that they fired the two assistants due to an interview or to attract a specific DC. In my opinion, you do not hire a DC, then dictate the assistants that he must use. I think every defensive coach could be let go. I expect that the new DC will interview the current packers assistant defensive coaches left.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

It could be they've let it be known that when Capers goes they want out. By all reports people really liked working with Capers. If not he'd have been out years ago.

dobber's picture

There are some GMs out there who tell HCs who some of their assistants will be...ahem...JJ.

Qoojo's picture

Even as I wrote that, I was trying to remember if MM forced an assistant or two on capers.

HankScorpio's picture

Winston Moss

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

And Trygovac. Trgo was hired before Capers.

Packer_Pete's picture

The funny thing is that the O totally fell apart after Rodgers injury, yet there seem to be no changes on the offensive coaching staff... Especially the inability of changing the approach within a game was simply not possible. I guess the O coaches are all yes men and McC likes that... Bennett is a total waste as OC. What does that guy actually do? The game planes never were anything to write home about...

HankScorpio's picture

It's not necessarily over yet. Luke Getsy has been reported to be leaving.

Qoojo's picture

I am already excited about the packers chances next year.

I really hope this will help curb the drafting of players for playing out of position, but I think that is on TT more than anyone else.

Bear's picture

Would like to see someone hired that can develop a creative offensive game plan. MM is stale!

Free agent's picture

Total Agree, Bear. Same formations, no imagination or trick plays for opponents to game plan and prepare for. It’s all Rodgers avoiding the rush extending the play and making difficult for the DB’s to cover the receivers for an extended time. Maybe, Philbin or another outside offensive guru could come in and take over preparing the game plan and the play calling duties.

Brian's picture

I would like to see changes too. A very good receivers coach would help.

Bearmeat's picture

Hey. That was MY screen name first. And let's not have any talk about Bears around here - except with the obvious "meat" or "still suck" afterwards. ;)

Since '61's picture

2018 is off to a great start already. Capers is gone, 4-5 seasons too late. Time to move on and finish the job. Clean out the entire defensive coaching staff.

Bring in the best available and create an actual NFL defense. We may need to wait for a candidate to become available from a playoff team. I hope they interview plenty of candidates without any preconceived ideas other than to find the best coordinator.

Forget Capers and Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

dobber's picture

I'd like to see them keep Jerry Montgomery on the defensive side. He's the DL assistant they brought in two years ago...when he came, DL play picked up. Whether it's personnel or coaching, he might deserve that benefit of the doubt.

4zone's picture

Whitt being a possible in house front runner makes me want to puke.

Brian's picture

If Whitt is the guy that was responsible for Tramon and Sam Shields I'm ok with him staying but NOT as DC

Packer_Pete's picture

Totally agree. Posters here are on the Whitt bandwagon, but if I'm watching the Packers CB play then it is obvious they have severe deficits in . fundamentals.. Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in some time... Whitt has to go.

dobber's picture

I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone here has lobbied for Whitt to get the job.

GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

Ted Thompson is gone!!!!!

GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

It’s over!!!!

Bearmeat's picture

WHAT??????

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000901690/article/ted-thompson-out-...

CHRISTMAS 2018 HAS COME EARLY!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

THIS IS THE BEST POSSIBLE THING THAT COULD HAVE COME FROM THIS SEASON EXCEPT WINNING THE SUPER BOWL! WOOOOOOO!!!

Wilson Maywick's picture

Didn't think Murphy had it in him. He's seemed so.....nonconfontational.

Bure9620's picture

Bring on Eliot Wolf TT is out!!

Houndog's picture

Hallelujah!

After 11 years, 2 months, and 20 days, this could be the first REALLY GOOD reason I've had to get drunk again!

Good Bye Ted, don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way to your new (assume the) position!

GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

Happy New Year!!! Now let’s roll!!!

egbertsouse's picture

They will probably go inside for a GM but if they don't, Mashed Potato Mike would be gone also. The trifecta.

Lphill's picture

Imagine a world where the defense forces 3 and outs and feeds the ball back to Rodgers multiple times a game . We can only hope .

rdent's picture

TT out! Capers out! Now that gives me something to really look forward to. 12 picks and a new GM!

Brian's picture

Wow. Didn't think TT would step aside. No way he was forced out. Time for a new guy. Wolf, Gutekunst, McKenzie, Schneider? Dorsey is stuck with the Browns. Let the rumor mill churn!!

4thand1's picture

Holy f-ing crap! The shit show of a season hit the fan!

GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

I think TT was made an offer he couldn’t refuse! With step aside or hit the road with Dom.

GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

Either way it’s a great day!! We need a nasty DC! I actually think McCarthy is not safe he may be next!

GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

Elliot Wolfe GM. And how about a Kevin Greene as DC...!

dobber's picture

Kevin Greene would be a lousy choice as DC...he only knows one position on the defense (see Tom Silverstein's column in Sunday's JSOnline).

Finwiz's picture

I want Vic Fangio, or a longshot on Jim Leonhard.

dobber's picture

It's too soon on Leonhard. Maybe 5-7 years down the road. No pro coaching experience, only 2 years at the college level (and only 1 as a coordinator). IMO, hiring Leonhard would be like saying that you're not serious about improving your defense now.

I would argue that if you're going to the college ranks for a DC, Dave Aranda is one of many better choices than Leonhard.

Finwiz's picture

Not that big of a stretch because Leonhard has played the pro game at a high level, and knows what it takes. He's also had a meteoric rise as a defensive coach, with changing roles up the ladder in successive years. They played very disciplined in the bowl game, and that's a reflection of coaching. Aranda was good, but Leonhard has them playing more opportunistic defense in a shorter period of time, and his secondary is always in position - the Ohio State game aside. (WI can't seem to get past those guys)

This could be a star in the making. Probably a few years too early, but I'm not going to agree with 5-7, simply because this is the rare case where the coach was a pro player, so he has insight that most don't have. Rex Ryan did say, he was the most intelligent player he ever coached. Say what you want about Ryan, but he can coach a defense, and he knows what it takes too. I'm not calling this as likely, but I wouldn't be dismissive about it either. Besides Fangio, there aren't any obvious choices unless Lewis gets let go in Cincinnati, but he may not want to step back to defensive coaching.

dobber's picture

Not my intent to be dismissive...I usually try to include "IMO" or "I think" or "I believe" in my posts to try to help avoid that. Apologies.

It's my thought that they're going to look for someone established because they're needing immediate, positive results. They don't have time to grow with him. Leonhard was gifted a senior-led defense for his first year as a DC. Don't get me wrong, he made good on it. His trajectory looks really good so far, but my thinking is I just don't think the Packers can take the chance with a guy at this point who's so early on his career.

Bure9620's picture

Agreed. If you go the college route get an established experienced one, Venables, Schiano, Mattison, Brown.

4zone's picture

Why did we fire the position coaches for the best two positions on our defense?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

One or both well may have resigned or asked for their release. I've always thought MM did not hire the best assistants, so there is that, if you agree.

Coldworld's picture

My thought exactly unless, as others have speculated, they wanted out.

I have more concerns with some of the offensive position coaches and the OLB area. Perhaps these will take longer to review or, in the case of OLB are being left to the new DC.

I am really hoping we bring in outside talent for the DC role and perhaps OLB would benefit too. New ideas and concepts are needed to blow away the cobwebs in what has recently been one of the most predictable defenses

bodei1newbie1's picture

i really hated to see dom go it wasn't his fault that ted didn't draft or pickup any help for the defense and now we don't know who will be the DC ?

Coldworld's picture

Ted drafted, but the results never came. So drafting or coaching? For me, the best indication that Dom was past his sell by date is the performance of defensive players who left over the last couple of years. A second would be the romoured predictability of the D, if true. Sometimes people get stale in coaching.

Since TT is now not GM, we should have a new person at the drafting helm too. With change we get risk over more of the same. I don’t want more of the last 5 years. Roll the dice. Ironically, I think last year’s defensive draft class could prove to be one of his best. Here’s hoping we use them effectively...

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