I Don’t Want to Hear About Dom Capers’ Defense being too Complicated

Dom Capers coached the defense that finished ranked 25th in total defense.

Dom Capers

The debate about whether Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers should be fired has been swirling for over two seasons and won’t go away until Capers himself goes away or the Packers defense improves.

Now, another narrative has emerged to push back against those who want Capers canned: Dom’s defense is just too complicated for young players to understand.

Capers’ defense might very well be complicated — maybe even too complicated for young players to fully grasp. If that is, indeed, the case, then it’s yet another reason why Capers should be fired, not an excuse to keep him around and forgive the Packers defensive shortcomings.

If Capers’ defense is too complicated, then he needs to make the appropriate adjustments and simplify things as necessary to help his young, injury-ravaged defense. We’ve seen the same mistakes occur over and over again in the Packers secondary under Capers watch: big passing plays downfield as two Packers defensive backs point at each other and argue about who was supposed to be where.

I understand that you can’t just overhaul and make drastic changes to a defense on the fly, but the same breakdowns have been happening for a long time now. There has been plenty of time to make adjustments to try and cover some of the Packers inexperience. Instead, it seems like Capers tried to fit the square peg of his young players into the round of hole of his complicated scheme.

The issue of Capers’ defense being too complicated for young players also raises questions about his fit for the Packers. If Capers’ defense requires veterans to grasp and execute it, then why is he the defensive coordinator on a team that doesn’t sign veteran free agents and relies heavily on rookies every season, some of which aren’t even drafted?

I’m non entirely on the fire Capers bandwagon. I agree that the Packers problems on defense go beyond the coordinator. But the new talking point about the Packers defense being too young to understand Capers’ scheme is maddening.

If Capers’ players on defense just aren’t getting the scheme, he needs to make adjustments. Youth is not a valid excuse for the underperformance of Capers’ defense the last three seasons.


Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.