With Capers decision looming, Packers come to defense
DETROIT, Mich. - Long before the Packers touched down in the Motor City, it appeared the wheels had already been turning on the future of long time defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
Several sources have reported in the past 48 hours that the team and coach will part ways following Green Bay's 35-11 loss to the Lions in the season finale at Ford Field Sunday.
Head coach Mike McCarthy did not take questions from the media on Capers status following the contest.
"I understand where we are in this point in the season, I haven’t been in this position in a number of years," McCarthy said. "I’m here to answer questions about the game, let’s no waste each other’s time."
The head of the Packers defense since 2008, Capers has had his share of critics over the years but as we saw Sunday, the gregarious coach also has his share of fans inside the Packers locker room.
"He drafted me, he’s definitely a legend in this game," defensive tackle Mike Daniels said. "I’m really thankful he’s my defensive coordinator."
"He’s a great coach, great person," defensive tackle Dean Lowry said. "He's got a very complex defense for us, we love playing for him."
The stats and overall production however, don't lie, especially this year. Green Bay ranked No. 23 in total defense, the fourth time in the past seven seasons they’ve fallen to the bottom third of the NFL overall.
It's those numbers along with mental mistakes such as being among the cellar dwellers in third down and red zone defense which will likely cost Capers his job.
However, while one man usually takes the fall, this decision should come as a wake up call to general manager Ted Thompson and the players. A collective unit needing to improve immensely if this franchise has any hope of being a Super Bowl contender in the near future.
"We’ll see what this off-season brings in taking that next step, possibly bringing in free agents," linebacker Clay Matthews said. "Everyone needs to get better. I’ll be going into year No. 10 and we all need to get better."
When a winning franchise gets a taste of mediocrity, changes are often made in quick order. In moving on from Dom Capers, the Packers would be putting everyone on notice: The Green and Gold won’t settle for a lesser standard in 2018.
"We’ve hung tough throughout this rash of injuries and with Aaron (Rodgers) going down but at the end of the day, it’s not enough," Matthew said. "So can you take some good things away yeah but your success in this league is based on wins and losses and we didn’t do enough."
It appears not enough has finally become enough to make drastic changes in Titletown.