Sunday, January 13, 2013

What To Do With The Playoff Defense: Dom Capers Edition

There's plenty of blame to go around after the Green Bay Packers watched their defense get torched by the 49ers and defensive coordinator Dom Capers should not be excluded. However, he's not one on the field and there's only so much a defensive coach can do without good players. I didn't think last Saturday night was a case of players looking confused or not being prepared; it looked like a bunch of players getting their backside kicked.

After the 2011 season, I wouldn't have been surprised to have seen the Packers fire Dom Capers. The defense had been awful all season and played bad against the Giants. His group bounced back in 2012, but it's hard not to notice how bad the Packers' defense has played during the playoffs in three out of four years under Capers.

2009 loss to the Cardinals. As bad as it seemed against the 49ers, I felt that their defense played even worse against the Cardinals that season. The Packers actually forced a couple punts by the 49ers, but I had no belief that the Packers could stop the Cardinals at any time. It was all the more shocking because the Packers entered the game with the 2nd best defense in the NFL. The good news is that the defense rebounded strong in 2010 after such a hopeless playoff performance.

2011 loss to the Giants. This is the most forgivable loss since it had more to do with all the turnovers on offense than a defensive collapse. But they still allowed the Giants to score 37 points on offense and did little to stop any Giants player. Also, the inexcusable touchdown in the end zone at the end of the first half.

2012 loss to the 49ers. I'll assume you clearly remember this one. They couldn't stop the 49ers from converting 1st downs (29 overall) on the short plays and couldn't prevent the big plays either.

I don't know if this means Capers should be fired. He looked out-coached and undermanned against the 49ers but it's only one game. It doesn't mean his overall scheme is bad or he isn't a good coach to his players. If Mike McCarthy decides in his year-end review that it's time for a defensive coaching change, I'd understand it. If he keeps Capers, I'd understand that too. Maybe a better coach is the answer, but I know that improving the quality of players on defense has to be part of the solution.


PackFaninFl said...

Two words,Desmond Bishop. I think him on the field, spying on Kaepernick and especially blitzing him may have made a difference. So Nick Perry rehabilitated, plus Desmond Bishop, plus a high draft pick 1-3 rounds at Inside LB plus Clay would be a big upgrade.

We also need a big guy for Picket, who is 33.

And is there one other guy starting to show his age? How about Tramon Williams turning 30 in 2 months. Man, he did NOT look the same as the Tramon of years past.

I don't think Capers is that big a problem, I think it's mostly the talent.

Brandon said...

I agree but I like Tramon better than you. Actually, Brad Jones had some good games this season, so he was a very pleasant surprise as their No. 3 option. I could see some LB starved team giving Jones a starting job next season, but the Packers need an upgrade at the position.