Dom Capers: Could this be his final chance?

 

Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers – is he on the hot seat?
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Dom Capers – his name turned from admired to goat after the dust cleared from the San Francisco 49ers‘ pounding of the Green Bay Packers is last season’s NFL Divisional Playoff game.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) is pursued by Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Neal (96) on a 56-yard touchdown run in the NFC divisional round playoff game at Candlestick Park. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Five-hundred-seventy-nine yards, 181 rushing yards by Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Those are numbers that will rank right up there with “4th and 26″ in Packers horror lore. Forever, fans and team officials will turn away from those numbers with shock and embarrassment.

Starting the day after the shellacking, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy defended Capers, his defensive coordinator, saying the team would begin the evaluation process and that he had full confidence that they would right the defensive ship.

Indeed the Packers worked on making corrections.

They released longtime CB/safety Charles Woodson, they sent defensive coaches to Texas A&M for a workshop on the read-option in an effort to figure out ways to stop the offensive scheme, they drafted defensive end Datone Jones out of UCLA to help solidify its defensive line, they let outside linebacker Erik Walden walk in free agency, extended a free agent contract to ILB Brad Jones and brought back ILB A.J. Hawk. McCarthy and Ted Thompson, the past two years, have drafted heavily on the defensive side of the ball to give Capers the tools he needs to be competitive.

And though the defense did show vast improvement overall last year, it was that final game that stood out; it revealed every hole and weakness and lowered the Packers from an elite team to also-rans.

The message is clear this year. Capers has the tools to take the team to the next step. His task this off-season was to figure out ways to stop the read-option – and Adrian Peterson. The Packers’ defense will be tested right out of the box when they travel to San Francisco to once more face the 49ers in the 2013 season opener.

And that won’t be the only time the Packers will face the scheme. The Packers play Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in the second game of the year and there will be other teams that no doubt will throw the read-option at the Packers. Heck, even the Chicago Bears, with fleet-footed (yeah, right) Jay Cutler at the helm, have said they may toy with it.

Yes, the message has been sent … and Capers had better be ready for it.

Adrian Peterson
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

My thought is that McCarthy and Thompson won’t stand for another failure against the read-option, nor will they stand for another running over by Adrian Peterson. The changes Capers institutes have to work and they have to work well.

If they don’t, I wouldn’t expect Capers to be around long.

What do you think, Packers fans? Will Capers get it figured out and the Packers contain the read-option?

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Topics: Dom Capers, Green Bay Packers, Packers Defense

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  • Mark Mikhail

    This absolutely should be his last year, unless he proves otherwise. I for one, was not calling for his head at the end of last season, like many Packers fans around the nation. I understand that it’s Players, not Plays. It doesn’t matter how well you scheme if your players don’t execute properly and don’t beat their man. Now yes, Capers undoubtedly must be held responsible, but so do the players. He deserves one more chance to bring the defense to at least somewhat resemble the hard-nosed D that played such a pivotal role in our SB victory. Perry is on his second year and hopefully has adjusted to playing standing up, our secondary has much improved with whizkid Casey Hayward, and the emergence of Sam Shields as a lock-down #2. We drafted Datone Jones, who I believe is the key to stopping the read-option, and CMIII just signed a fat contract. This is it. It’s time to put up or shut up. I for one have all the faith in the world that the Pack will emerge this upcoming season as a top 10 defensive unit and be one step closer to that elite defense that we had in 2009 and 2010.

    Go Pack Go!

    • http://www.facebook.com/ray.rivard.963 Ray Rivard

      Well said. The defense, in my estimation, has been well stocked the past two years and now is the time, as you say, to put up or shut up.

  • Iconoclast17

    Capers has had ample opportunity to get this defense together. Four years, one SB and three playoff blowouts. Not good enough, Dom. Capers main problem is he’s stubborn. Rather than try to adjust his sacred scheme to the talent he has on hand or the competition on any given Sunday, Capers always sticks to his scheme and never alters course. Great if you’re playing a pathetic offense like the Titans, not so much when you don’t prepare for the read option and can’t stop AP to save your life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.rochon.7 Scott Rochon

    Raymond, You are out of your mind! They add a 280 lb DE to the mess that is their D-Line, and they way overpay for Brad Jones, career backup, and you declare that the pieces are there? That’s almost as bad as McCarthy shifting the left and right side of the O-Line and saying how much better it is! And you guys repeat that garbage? Both lines are HORRIBLE! How many times do we have to hear what a great judge of talent TT is? He knows WR’s and DB’s. That’s it! How many O-Linemen and D-Linemen has he drafted that are actually good? Sitton! Raji is a joke at NT. He cannot hold the middle. And as a DE, he has no pass rush! Bulaga? He had a horrible 1st year. His second was much better. This last year he was getting killed by good D-Linemen, then he played well against bad ones. Then he broke his hip. He was projected to give up 11 sacks if he stayed healthy. And that was on the right side. And everybody on these sites has said what a brilliant move shifting the left and right side. Capers should have been fired. He’s not good anymore! He use to destroy rookie QB’s. Now he let a QB in his 9th start, kill the Packers.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ray.rivard.963 Ray Rivard

      Wow Scott! Tell us how you really feel! Ahahahaha. I wouldn’t say the lines are horrible, they are just inconsistent. Good play here, bad play there. The injuries have decimated the Packers and the adjustments weren’t adequate to keep the Packers in the elite. They are still a pretty good football team and I think you’re being a bit dramatic here. The Packers did win the North two seasons in a row, coming through those seasons at 15-1 against some pretty good – not great – but pretty good competition. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and let Capers do his job. He’s the first one to know that if the D doesn’t get the job done, he’s a goner. It should be an interesting season. I’m looking forward to it, whether they finish 3-13 or 13-3. Hang in, man.

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