Dom Capers: 2012 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Dom Capers

Dom Capers

1) Introduction:  Many expected 2012 to be a rebound season for the Packers defense.  The unit was the team’s Achilles heel in 2011 and it cost them a shot at a second straight Super Bowl.  Ted Thompson reloaded the team with talent via the 2012 NFL Draft,  so it was up to Dom Capers to turn the defense around.  Capers was expected to get the unit closer to 2010 form when it was one of the best defenses in the NFL.

2) Profile:

Ernest Dominic “Dom” Capers

  • Age: 62
  • Born: 08/07/1950, in Cambridge, OH
  • Rookie Year: 1986 (defensive backs coach with the Saints)
  • NFL Coaching Experience: 36 years

Biography and more

(3) Expectations coming into the season:  In a word: improvement.  The defense was bad in 2011, but a lot of those flaws were covered up by the record-setting offense the Packers had that year.  When the offense finally had a bad game, in the playoffs of all times, how bad the defense really was became clear.

Thompson infused the defense with youth via the draft and Capers was expected to get the youngsters ready to push some of the veterans.  The defense was not expected to be the liability it was in 2011.

4)Overachievements/Underachievements:  If we were to go by players, Capers got a lot out of rookie Casey Hayward. In fact, Hayward has done the impossible and made it likely the team can survive without the recently released Charles Woodson and in fact maybe even thrive.  Hayward also made Tramon Williams a better player and Williams improved over his atrocious 2011.

The linebacking corps would be considered an underachievement, but injuries took their toll with Desmond Bishop, DJ Smith and Nick Perry all finishing the season on injured reserve. Clay Matthews had another stellar season, but the linebackers struggled overall.

Perhaps the biggest failure the defense had (in the regular season anyway) was giving up over 400 yards to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson had a great year and is a very talented back, but anytime a running back gains roughly 20% of his season total on your defense in two games, something is wrong.



Packers’ Mike McCarthy: Stubborn and Loyal to a Fault?

Mike McCarthy

Is Mike McCarthy becoming so stubborn he’s hurting his own team?

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has many admirable qualities, both as a head coach and as a person.

One such quality is that he is incredibly loyal.  McCarthy has stood by his coaches and his players when someone’s ability or dedication has been called into question. That is something so many people struggle with. When the stuff hits the fan, someone usually goes under the bus.  That’s just the way society works, but such is not the case with McCarthy.

That said, at what point does loyalty evolve into stubbornness and when does that stubbornness turn into a negative instead of a positive?

That is the point where McCarthy has fallen in the eyes of many Packers fans as well as beat writers in the wake of the Packers’ stunning 45-31 season-ending playoff defeat at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.

After yet another defensive implosion in the postseason, McCarthy remained so steadfast in his support of his allegedly beleaguered defensive coordinator that he said he was “appalled” that Dom Capers’ job security should even be in doubt during his season ending press conference.  That comment in turn sparked passionate reactions from fans and local media alike.

While McCarthy should again be commended for feeling loyal to Capers, at what point does this stubbornness start to hurt the Packers?

One could argue that it already has and it has nothing to do with Capers.   Look at how Mason Crosby struggled this season.   Crosby flirted dangerously close the 50% rate on his field goals, which is horrible by NFL standards, yet McCarthy remained steadfast in his support for Crosby. While a missed Crosby field goal didn’t cost the Packers a game in the end, it was a big risk by McCarthy and he’s lucky he didn’t get burned by it.

In fact, what would have happened had Crosby cost the Packers a game? It would fair to assume that McCarthy would have then been forced to at least bring a kicker in to compete with Crosby.  While that would have satisfied fan anger to a certain extent, it still should not have gotten to that point.  McCarthy is beginning to show a habit of not making a change until the Packers lose because of it.