14

January

So You Want To Fire Dom Capers?

A lot of fans have been clamoring for the head of Dom Capers, the perceived problem to all of the Packers woes.  Some have argued that Dom Capers is getting too old to be coaching, his defensive philosophy and schemes too outdated and too complex for players to handle and perhaps most puzzling his lack of coaching causing injuries, missed assignments and miscommunication between the defensive unit.  However, before you start cleaning out his office, you have to have a plan B; namely if the Packers did fire Dom Capers, who would be the new 3-4 defensive coordinator?  Before all of you shout “I don’t care, anyone would be better than Dom Capers”, you and I are “anyone” and we all know that anyone that comments on this site would make a terrible defensive coordinator (let’s not even pretend).  With that in mind, I’ve created a list of the some of the potential coaching candidates that could replace Dom Capers

In House Options:

  1. Mike Trgovac: Trgovac has the most experience among the assistant coaches and is the only one with previous defensive coordinator experience having been the DC for the Carolina Panthers from 2003-2008. However in Carolina the Panthers ran a 4-3 alignment so it’s unclear how much experience he has with the 3-4 defense as a whole.  Furthermore, Trgovac turned down a 2-year contract extension with Carolina in order to take the Packers defensive line coaching position, which is interesting in itself considering Trgovac essentially took a pay cut and dropped down a rung on the coaching ladder to work for the Packers, which might be an indication that he doesn’t have an interest in being a defensive coordinator any more.  Of the in house choices, Trgovac probably has the best chance of being promoted to defensive coordinator; while he has turned down several coordinator interviews over the last couple years stating that he doesn’t want to move his family, obviously becoming the defensive coordinator for the Packers would not have this issue.  Furthermore, 3-4 defensive line production is largely a stat less critique, which would likely help Trgovac hide some of the poor performances the defensive line has had over the years.
15

January

Packers vs. Giants: 5 Things to Watch in NFC Divisional Round

Peprah was burned for a TD on the Giants' first offensive series.

The Green Bay Packers (15-1, NFC No. 1) host the New York Giants (10-7, NFC No. 4) Sunday in the NFC’s Divisional Round of the 2012 playoffs.

The basics 

When: 3:30 CST, Sunday, January 15, 2012.

Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI.

TV: FOX; Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the call, Pam Oliver on the sidelines.

Radio: 620 AM WTMJ (Milwaukee); Packers Radio Network; NFL Sunday Drive; Westwood One.

Series: Packers lead, 31-23-2 (Giants won last playoff meeting, 23-20 (OT) on Jan. 20, 2008 in NFC Championship Game).

Five things to watch

1. Rookie factor

Not since Desmond Howard have the Packers had a special teams weapon that could routinely flip field position. They have one now in rookie Randall Cobb, and you better believe that teams are treating him as such. As the season wore on, more and more teams hedged their bets and kicked away from Cobb.

At the very least, Cobb can ensure the Packers aren’t playing offense from the shadow of their own goal posts Sunday. And if the Giants give him enough chances, Cobb can break that one big play that can turn the game.

2. Opposite rush

Expecting a breakout performance from the Packers’ outside linebacker position after 16 games of mediocrity (that’s putting it nicely) is overly optimistic. But there is some hope that the Packers can get something from a player opposite Clay Matthews Sunday.

Brad Jones showed some life in Week 17 with a hustle sack and a couple of stops in the running game. He’ll likely get the majority of the early snaps against the Giants. In addition, Erik Walden had one of his better pass rushing games of the season back in Week 13 in New York. A solid performance from either player, or preferably both, would be a huge lift for the Packers defense.

3. Big Fella catchin’ on

For all the criticism Jermichael Finley took during most of the regular season, the Packers’ enigmatic tight end really started to come on during the last five games of the season. A five-game stretch that saw him catch 19 passes for 254 yards and three scores started in New York, where Finley went for 87 yards, including a huge catch on the Packers’ game-winning drive, and a first-half touchdown.

24

June

Confidence Check: An Interview with Packers Safety Anthony Smith Reveals His Green Bay Plans

We’ve all known Green Bay Packers free agent safety Anthony Smith to be a guy that exudes confidence. After speaking with him on Wednesday, I can tell you that nothing has changed.

He’s still the same player who four years ago guaranteed a Steelers win in the week leading up to a key matchup with the 12-0 Patriots. Pittsburgh lost that game, partly due to a couple of touchdown passes Smith gave up, and even Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick took their respective shots at the then two-year safety.

The Patriots mild-mannered quarterback went face-to-face with Smith after one of his touchdowns, screaming who knows what at Smith, and post-game, the normally reserved Belichick said, “We’ve played against a lot better safeties than [Smith], I’ll tell you that.”

But that mishap hasn’t taken anything away from the sureness Smith still feels. Despite being an unrestricted free agent, Smith has plans to stay in Green Bay for next season, and he wants to make his mark on this group of Packers.

When asked about his free agent status on Wednesday, Smith was quick to respond that he has a tentative deal in place with the Packers for when the lockout ends. Smith couldn’t confirm any details, but he said he plans to “finish” his career with the team.

His reason for wanting to remain in Green Bay? Simple. He thinks this current collection of Packers could be in for a long ride of success.

“I want to stay because I think we could have a dynasty here if everyone has the same mindset,” Smith said. “If everyone believes in the same thing; it’s like (Charles) Woodson always says, ‘One mind, purpose, goal and heart equals championships.’”

It’s a far cry from his guarantee in Pittsburgh, but it’s clear that Smith believes that the Packers are in for more than just their one Super Bowl victory. And it’s also evident that Smith wants to be a bigger part of the next championship team. In fact, Smith went as far as saying he thinks he can start for this defense next season.

“I’ll help out on special teams, but I’ve put five years worth of time on that unit. The young boys have to prove themselves there. And it’s in every player’s thought process to start. Yeah, I plan on starting.”