Report: Dom Capers Not Expected to Return to Green Bay in 2018

The end of the road in Green Bay could be fast approaching for Dom Capers.

The Packers' defensive coordinator who has been with the team since 2009 is not expected to return next season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The 67-year-old Capers is nearing the culmination of his ninth season with the Packers. He hasn't fielded much success on the defensive side of the ball since the Super Bowl-winning season in 2010 in which the Packers' defense finished at the top of the food chain and were the second-ranked scoring defense that season.

Ever since, the Packers have been mediocre at best on that side of the ball.

According to Schefter, the Packers' defense has finished outside the top-15 in the league rankings for the sixth time in seven years. Schefter also notes that, if the Packers don't put together an efficient defensive performance in Detroit this Sunday, it will be the fourth time in that same stretch that they've finished in the bottom third of the NFL's rankings.

2017 marked the first time that the Packers have missed the playoffs since hiring Capers in 2009.

"My plans are from week to week in this business," Capers said earlier this past week. "You learn that after 32 years in the league. My plan right now is to try to get the guys ready to go win a game against the Lions.

"One thing I've learned through a long career is you don't want to spend any time in this business concerning yourself with things that you don't have any control over, you know? You put the blinders on, you go to work, you try to be consistent in the way you do things and try to get guys ready to play."

It took coach Mike McCarthy and co. over a week after the Packers' season finale in 2008 -- also against the Lions -- to fire Bob Sanders, the last defensive coordinator to hold the position in Green Bay prior to Capers.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport also said on Saturday that this could be the year the Packers either ask Capers to retire or he'll retire himself. He also made an interesting Vic Fangio-to-Green Bay connection. Fangio, the Chicago Bears' renowned defensive coordinator, is expected to be a free agent this offseason.

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Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (59)

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Gianich's picture

December 30, 2017 at 11:46 pm

"You know, you put the blinders on." Oh we know, Dom...We know you put the blinders on...No more Domfounded's Dynamic Defensive breakdowns?? About time! Happy New Year to Packer Nation!!!

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KenEllis's picture

December 31, 2017 at 12:06 am

MM on 1-26 -17: "Dom Capers is an outstanding football coach, that doesn’t change."

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Malland56's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:02 pm

Used to be. He's not with the times like he should have been. Like one of the DB's said, we are to predictable on Defense.

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GBPDAN1's picture

December 31, 2017 at 03:06 am

"No more Domfounded's Dynamic Defensive breakdowns?? "

My sentiments exactly, Duke D ! It was hard watching Dom's D for most of the last 7 years. He may turn out to be an ok DC somewhere else ( big maybe), but he sure wasn't getting the job done in GB lately. His scheme , and implementation of it, wasn't working, obviously, with the Packers D personal. How many Average, and below average, QBs did Dom's D make look like pro bowlers ? To many !!

Goodbye, Dom. This was way over due!!

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Bill Atkinson's picture

December 30, 2017 at 11:57 pm

"Our long national nightmare is over." - Gerald Ford

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CAG123's picture

December 30, 2017 at 11:58 pm

HALLELUJAH!!! FREE AT LAST FREE AT LAST!

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Point-Packer's picture

December 31, 2017 at 12:04 am

Should have read this article after the 2012 season.

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fthisJack's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:13 am

after the Seattle play off collapse fosho!

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Handsback's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:48 am

What? The defense did their job in Seattle, ST and the offense went on vacation for that game.

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Since'61's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:19 am

The e defense gave up a 12 point lead with less than 4 minutes to play.
They were the unit on the field for all 4 of Seattle's TDs in that game. Dom's idiotic call to rush 2 DLs when Seattle had a 3rd and nineteen in the 3rd quarter resulted in Seattle's first TD on a fake FG and began their comeback and gave them hope in that game. Yes, the defense played well up to that point but their collapse during the last 3+ minutes is and was and remains inexcusable. Yes, Bostic blew the onside kick. OK, the defense needs to go out and make stop. Not allow an easy TD in less than a minute.
That Seattle game is a microcosm of Dom's defense over the last 7 seasons. No stops when you need to make them. Defense rankings are irrelevant but third down stops and red zone defense are what matter and Capers defense has been miserable in those categories. Thanks, Since '61

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RCPackerFan's picture

December 31, 2017 at 12:15 am

The writing has been on the wall for a while. The time is now to make the change!

It will be interesting to see who they do go after to become their next DC.

Fangio would make a lot of sense. He has done well with the 49ers and Bears. Runs a 3-4, and knows how to get a lot of of players.

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Bearmeat's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:36 am

No RC. The writing was in the wall after the 9ers debacle in January of 2013. Our defense has been below average at everything since. We've wasted 4 years of arods prime.

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stockholder's picture

December 31, 2017 at 09:20 am

TT was in charge those 4 years. Plenty of blame to go around.

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KenEllis's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:15 am

Agree with every work Bearmeat, but it is 5 seasons since that blowout in SF (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017).

Got to give Dom FULL "credit" for his "contributions" to the organization.

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croatpackfan's picture

December 31, 2017 at 02:57 am

As I stated earlier, I have nothing against change at DC position.

But, before you start to celebrate, please wait for real news. This news are just another speculation... Unfortunately...

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croatpackfan's picture

December 31, 2017 at 02:57 am

I wish all Packer Nation very, very, very Happy New Year...

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GBPDAN1's picture

December 31, 2017 at 03:09 am

Happy New Years, Croat..... and everyone else!

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NickPerry's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:26 am

It will be interesting to see who the Packers go after AND if they stay with a 3-4 defense. I still think with who they have on the roster right now, the Packers would be just fine switching to a 4-3. Would they need to address certain areas on the defense? Sure, but I think the fastest route to a better ranking defense other than a new DC would be switching to a 4-3. Outside LB is the most important position on a 3-4 in terms of the pass rush. I once heard Pat Kirwin on NFL XM-Radio say you'd like to have 20 to 25 sacks from your OLB position in a 3-4 defense. Kirwin is an Ex-NFL GM and front office guy so I'll take his word for it. The Packers have really been trying to run it from the start with just one guy, Matthews and now Perry. They've never seemed to be able to get BOTH going at the same time and I doubt 2018 would be different.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 31, 2017 at 06:42 am

I agree that the roster is at a point that minimizes concerns about switching from 3-4 to 4-3. The biggest area of concern under either scheme is edge pass rusher. The only significant difference is whether you look for a guy that plays standing up or with a hand in the dirt.

Going back to when he was drafted, it was always Perry's preference to play with his hand in the dirt. So he might actually do better with the change.

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fthisJack's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:24 am

the 3-4 is fine if you have a great OLB and a respectable DLine that can pressure the QB. we have neither since Mathews decent into mediocrity. the management has failed in their attempt to upgrade the position. Brooks....over the hill, Perry....serviceable, Fackrell...just a guy, Beigel...jury still out, and all the guys that they tried to develop that were released!
Get a one or 2 very good edge rushers and this defense would take off! top 15.

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The TKstinator's picture

December 31, 2017 at 09:30 am

DLine of Perry, Clark, Daniels, and Lowry, with 52 replacing 94 on passing downs. Martinez at MLB, Matthews at OLB, other OLB to be determined...?

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pooch's picture

December 31, 2017 at 09:54 am

Matthews would thrive in a 4-3 defense playing middle lber

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 31, 2017 at 12:56 pm

He could play Sam in a 4-3 under and the open DE on long yardage downs. It's just like the "rover" role folks like him in.

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stockholder's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:01 am

Lowry is to slow. for the 4-3-4 . He's a Keeper but won't get much playing time. He'll be asked to shed weight and play over the RT.

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The TKstinator's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:28 am

I’d only want him in there on running downs. Let 52 take over on passing downs.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 31, 2017 at 01:10 pm

Lowry played 4-3 in college. He'd be a good 4-3 under closed end. In a 4-3 over I wouldn't want him as a DE, maybe a backup NT or 3 tech. The Packers actually have the personnel for a 4-3 under right now. They might even be better for the 4-3 under than the 3-4 under or eagle that they use.

Lowry - Closed End
Clark - NT
Daniels - 3 Tech (He might be an All Pro here)
Perry - Open End
Mathews - Sam (strong side) LB
Martinez - Mike (middle) LB (under can use a smaller faster LB here, no thumpers)
Ryan - Will (weak) LB (I'd be tempted to try Josh Jones here)

4-3 under can be run with any coverage. I'd be temped to keep a simple Cover 2 on a lot of downs.

The Packers don't need a top 5 defense. If you give AR a consistent top 8-12 defense, he will win you several Super Bowls.

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GVPacker's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:04 am

I agree Nick Perry! Doesn't it make sense to run a 4-3 Defense with a draft and develop philosophy ?

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Savage57's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:10 am

Now that Capers is gone, won't you please join me in advancing the next campaign?

"Just Say No To Fangio"

Guy's a hump, Capers ver 2.0. Only time he's led anything other than a bottom 3rd D, was the three years in SF when he had Bowman, Willis, Smith 1 &2, Whitmer, Brooks, et al.

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Spock's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:13 am

I'd trust this more if Adam Schefter wasn't reporting this from ESPN as they ran the "Packers may have to waive Aaron Rodgers" nonsense, but Schefter usually has this kind of personnel coaching stuff right.

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MarkinMadison's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:47 am

Waive #12? Holy shit that is all kinds of crazy right there.

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MarkinMadison's picture

December 31, 2017 at 07:48 am

Read a piece last night about all of the possibilities out there at DC for the Packers. It looks like the time is right. Now about the guy buying the groceries...

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Mags's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:01 am

Hopefully Thompson retires with him.

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fthisJack's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:30 am

or gives their next GM , if he is with the team, a LARGE say in how this draft goes. good draft position with many picks....this draft must be nailed to revamp OLB, WR, TE, CB, OL positions. and don't be afraid of the FA market or trades where you can fill a major hole.

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dobber's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:22 pm

Be realistic, though. If you're TT and you're the GM, you're not going to let someone else make the calls that you'll have to take responsibility for.

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rdent's picture

December 31, 2017 at 09:14 am

Mags, that would be the perfect start to the New Year.

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4zone's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:10 am

Good news for GB, IF they get the right guy to replace him with. That said, I still think it's appropriate to think the man for his years in GB and for a Super Bowl win he helped make happen. It's time for a change, but it wasn't all bad.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:19 am

I'm not going to be able to believe he's gone until it's official. I'm sure Capers is a good guy and in a normal business he should n't loose his job. But football is not a normal business.

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fthisJack's picture

December 31, 2017 at 08:33 am

football is ....what have you done for me lately? if lately is 8 years ago then we should keep Capers.

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Roadrunner23's picture

December 31, 2017 at 09:03 am

The entire Defensive staff should be shown the door, otherwise it’s going to be promote from with in and the same old same old. Gotta shake it up BIG!

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HankScorpio's picture

December 31, 2017 at 09:22 am

I don't know how much of the problem is the staff and how much is trying to hammer a round peg into a square hole. So I'm not sure I entirely agree. But I sure would not shed any tears over an entirely new approach with a guy from outside the current staff who brings in his own choices to round out the staff.

If this decision has been made AND MM is considering promoting from within, he blew a golden opportunity to name an interim DC to get a sneak peak at how things might be different under the new guy.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 31, 2017 at 09:40 am

I would be really interested to hear a candid assessment on Dom Capers and the Defensive Coaching Staff from Micah Hyde. Probably not going to happen.

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Handsback's picture

December 31, 2017 at 09:14 am

MM wants to run the 3-4. They picked their last coordinator because he could do it. Capers has a ton of street cred in the NFL and if he wants to keep coaching...he'll find a job. Kirwin, from XM radio, is right about needing 20-25 sacks from the OLBs. Let's see who the Packers have in those two important spots? They seem to have two part time players in Matthews and Perry. Maybe the Packers have some strong DBs to cover? No a rookie that played hurt and a journeyman CB. But they seem to have a 1st round pick that may be a cornerstone for the slot coverage, but nobody that shines on the outside.

Wow, with this lineup the Packers can surely win 10-12 games a year. Sorry for the sarcasm, but Capers isn't the reason the Packer's defense is poor. Can another guy come in and get more out of them? I don't know that and I dare say nobody posting on this board does either. While I'm not happy with the current win record and the defense's overall performance, this team needs an influx in talent. Firing Capers is just another Band-Aid that might or might not work. That is why MM is cautious to fire him.

One last point, the defense against the 49ers in the playoffs was terrible. The one memory burned into my mind is Kaepernick running after being flushed out of the pocket and he's chased by the Packer's 3rd string OLB who's limping. Yeah that's on Capers too. If you don't have the players....you're not going to win. Right now the Packers can't seem to keep their players healthy and their backups are very marginal.

That is what I see. It’s not a popular opinion, and I hope if a new guy comes in to run the defense he’s super successful. I just don’t think at this point it matters who runs that part of the show….it’s going to stink until they get better players.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:04 am

I really feel like the Packers moved to the 3-4 for personnel reasons. At the time it was easier to find Edge Athletes because so many teams ran a 4-3 with larger ends. This is no longer the reality. Now about half the league runs a 3-4 and even 4-3 Under teams like the Seahawks and Falcons use lighter Edge players at DE.

I really like the 4-3 under strategy because it allows you to utilize all of the body types in the front 7, on top of the emphasis in the school on the fundamentals of tackles and coverage. If you want learn more https://www.fieldgulls.com/2011/5/31/2191847/the-pete-carroll-4-3-under-...

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pooch's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:02 am

So my 3 biggest bitchs on Capers defense.No pass rush. 2 receivers always wide open especially middle of the field.3 Poor tacklling been an issue to long,TT shares the blame here as well

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stockholder's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:09 am

I think they stayed with the 3-4-4 because of Pickett, Raji, and Bishop. TT never replaced these guys. Daniels holds his own, but really weren't Raji and Pickett better?

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pooch's picture

December 31, 2017 at 09:57 am

Have to start somewhere

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Johnblood27's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:28 am

...and make substantial changes to their training regimen and/or staff.

Avoidable injuries MUST be avoided and players need to be able to go at 100% for any team to win consistently in the NFL.

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MB8830's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:51 am

With all due respect, Handsback, Capers is a huge reason why this defense is so poor. His tendancy to rely upon overly-complicated zone defenses & coverage schemes do not put the Packer players in the best position to be successful. Don't take my word for it, just listen to what ex-Packer defensive players say, guys like Casey Heyward & Micah Hyde......guys who flourish elsewhere.....their comments are a direct indictment of Capers' "bend but don't break" mentality. Getting this clown gone is a great first step towards re-building the defense. One point you make about the Packers not being able to keep their players healthy is very astute. Fact is, the Packers entire team has been plagued by soft-tissue (hamstring injuries) and nagging injuries since at least 2010.....this injury plague coincides with Mark Lovat's promotion in the strength and conditioning department. If Green Bay ever truly want to improve, then this entire staff must go.....8 + years of constant injuries tells anyone with a half a brain that something is not right with this S&C program.....again, take a look at players who were oft-injured in Green Bay......they seem to suddenly find NFL-caliber health when they leave. Strange how that works. Letting Capers go is a great step one.....now on to Lovat and the rest of that inept staff.

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MB8830's picture

December 31, 2017 at 11:06 am

Capers is a total clown and needs to go....period. While Thompson has slid in terms of draft success, he generally puts above-average talent into the Packer organization......but his disdain for free agency needs to be corrected, and he needs to hit on this draft or he should be shown the door very soon. Speaking of corrections....I agree with you that McCarthy is "a phony".......he is a phony offensive "genius". While I think keeping McCarthy on board as the Head Coach through his last contract year is fine, he MUST be made to hire a real offensive coordinator.....someone who will abandon this ridiculous offensive "scheme" (such as it is) which is loaded with isolation routes (most of which are sideline-oriented) and places no value whatsoever in the running game, proper play selection relative to down & distance and ball control (ie: keeping that crap defense off of the field). I think we are looking at a gradual re-building process in Green Bay.....the Capers firing will be a great first step.....but I expect either a course-correction in several additional weak areas (play-calling, more use of free agency, new strength & conditioning staff), or there will be more change after the 2018 season.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

December 31, 2017 at 03:33 pm

Ted Thompson has dementia Mike McCarthy is insane and Dom Capers well you can call him any name you want to

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Since'61's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:17 am

If Capers is actually leaving it is long overdue. Since winning the SB in 2010 Capers defense has been mediocre on a good day. They have never been able to carry the team through a game or a few games when the offense has had a poor game whether Rodgers was the QB or not.
They have consistently been among the league's worst defenses on 3rd downs and in red zone defense. They have consistently lacked a pass rush, been bad tacklers and leave the middle of the field wide open. All coachable areas that can be improved with capable coaching and/or at least someone paying attention.
If such a record were kept they have probably set the NFL record for making unheard of QBs look like John Unitas. It seems like every week they allow a QB, RB or WR to have the best game of their careers.
Yes we have a few good defensive players, but as a unit they have been bad and their problems go on for season after season without improvement or resolution.
My fear is that Rodgers leaves, we finally have a great defense but end up with an offense that can't store.
Before that happens CHUCK CAPERS!!! Thanks, Since '61

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Rebecca's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:35 am

Don’t lose your hair on the way out, Don.

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Handsback's picture

December 31, 2017 at 10:55 am

Too late for that!

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Rossonero's picture

December 31, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Finally! My prediction is they'll promote Mike Trgovac from within since he has D coordinator experience. He was Carolina's DC from 2003-2008 and had a pretty good run there.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

December 31, 2017 at 03:31 pm

No I don't want anybody from the Packer organization to be promoted are you insane

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Free agent's picture

December 31, 2017 at 03:36 pm

One down, 2 to go. TT and MM

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badaxed's picture

December 31, 2017 at 04:56 pm

My prediction: McCarthy will be given a contract extension, he will promote from within, Ted Thompson will stay as general manager one more year and trade down in the draft. The team will digress further in 2018 .
Hundley will continue as back up Qb. After Another Dismall Season Ted Thompson retires. Elliot wolf is elevated to Gm. McCarthy is fired. Thank God.

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jimtalkbox's picture

December 31, 2017 at 05:36 pm

I think we'll see quite a bit of change on the defensive side of the ball and perhaps in the front office with TT having his contract expire after the draft.

I'm hoping for Fangio (Chicago) or Guenther (Cincinnati) as the new D-Coordinator.

We'll likely see promotion from within for the GM job.

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Barnacle's picture

January 01, 2018 at 08:09 am

Capers had good defenses the first couple years in all
Of his jobs. It would take him about three years to implement most of his defensive schemes. By then it would be so complex that his football players would start making mistakes because they had too much to remember. Then of course you had to draft more defensive players to replace the confused ones we already had.

Of course we had to get the most versatile players and frequently switch them to positions they never played before. Is it surprising to you that these guys often look confused and get more injuries?

Not all football players are rocket scientists and therefore the complex schemes of Capers and the versatility of McCarthy are probably detrimental more than beneficial. It’s surprising to me that several weeks into training camp McCarthy is telling us his coaching staff is going to work on pad levels and tackling fundamentals. What the heck were you doing previously? And why did you frequently cut 3 hour practice sessions 45 minutes short when your players did not understand tackling fundamentals and proper pad levels?

I vote for a new GM and new head coach. Allowing our special teams and our defense to be mismanaged so badly for so long is unacceptable. Aaron Rodgers managed our offense well enough in spite of McCarthy. What do you think would happen with a good coach?

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