Monday, January 19, 2009

The Capers solution

That's what Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is hoping for right now. He's hoping his hire yesterday, as being reported in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and elsewhere this morning -- will be the solution he needs to resurrect a pathetic defense. Enter Dom (not DON!) Capers. McCarthy wanted someone with experience and with Capers he gets that in spades. Capers is an experienced defensive coordinator who is immersed in the 3-4 scheme, but who has also run 4-3 and hybrid schemes. Capers has also been a head coach with two teams.

Capers has a reputation as a no-nonsense type of coach and a very good defensive coordinator. While discipline isn't something which has been a problem for the Packers defense, perhaps accountability this last season was. Capers will help bring a greater sense of that to the unit.

Wayne Larrivee, the radio voice of the Packers, was asked this morning on 620WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, what he thought the Capers hire would mean for the defense. He acknowledged Capers' primary experience with the 3-4 scheme, but that he was the kind of flexible coach that could work with the Packers 4-3. Larrivee also said that it could be a hybrid type defense at times. Larrivee also noted that running that type of scheme would mean the Packers would have to get a few different types of players than they have now, but it would also allow the Packers to use their best defensive players in different ways, as well.

The needs on defense probably won't change much: defensive linemen and linebackers are key needs. But it might be the type of those players that is different under a Capers-run scheme.

From the perspective of this writer, I think this is a good hire. Some say the big cats -- Nolan and Williams -- got away and that the Packers are having to settle for perhaps a second tier level of coach, especially since the Packers were the first to contact Capers about a D-coordinator position. But given the wealth of Capers' coaching experience -- 38 years overall, with 23 in the NFL -- he might be just what the doctor ordered. McCarthy spent two days with Capers and the two obviously felt comfortable with one another and what the direction of the team needed to be and how things were going to be accomplished.

If you want to read the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article about the hire, you can do so here. There has as yet been no official announcement from the Packers. Once that official announcement is made by the team, will be running a poll to ask whether you like this hiring decision or not. So keep checking back for further updates.