Mailbag: More Thoughts On Capers

I was wondering what you were going to say about the defense. I think you followed up your previous post justifying (for lack of a better word) the defensive performance over the past couple of years. I think you responded admirably and reasonably.

Personally I haven’t been on the fire Capers bandwagon either, and I think you can look at specific areas of the d and see positive things. However, I think it is time to move on. Honestly, I think my belief in consistency has clouded my views on the Capers thing. Not that this is everything, but look at the 3rd down ranking during his tenure:
9, 9, 27, 20, 18, 18, 8, 26, 27

So, 3 decent seasons, 3 middling, and 3 awful.

It’s worth noting this stat for the 3 years before Capers:
8, 3, 13

Were his first 2 decent seasons just riding the coattails of a good roster? If that’s the case I think it might be an even greater reason to move on. Fans constantly clamor about “adjustments” as if to say just making the correct™ change fixes all of the problems, and winz all teh gamez! But if losing Woodson and Collins broke his scheme you can’t just wait around until they get another HOF cb and safety. I believe you have to scheme to the strength of your team, and I am seriously questioning if Capers is capable of doing that. This was the game that the defense needed to get it’s collective sh!t together. A week off with a home game against a team that can’t run is about as good a scenario as you can how for. Coming together to force the opposing team to punt 0 times is, *insert derogatory adjective here*

Maybe I’m wrong. I know for sure there is way more to it than just one or several stats. But I’ve long felt the defense has been flat-out terrible on 3rd and long/ zone schemes. And maybe, just maybe, I’ve been lying to myself that a change in coordinator would fix the issue.

If we (as fans) agree the roster is talented, the answer must lie somewhere else. My gauge is moving right at the coordinator.

-Dustin

 

I absolutely agree, Dustin. I’ve been ok with keeping Capers because they have a bird in hand: a middling defense that is good enough to win with a great offense and the best QB in the history of the game. Why risk a disaster when you have good enough? Even if it is just because of the players.
However, as the game evolves, I feel like Capers is not keeping up. Offenses are becoming more aggressive and defenses need to attack- the rule changes are too much for a bend but don’t break approach to remain relevant.
With Rodgers out, we don’t need continuity. Try out an internal candidate for 8 games and maybe you get a pleasant surprise. If not, start over with another 3-4 disciple that can work with the tools in place but be more aggressive. Why not someone from New England or Seattle? Who wouldn’t want to take over a talent-laden defensive roster to try to complement the scariest offense in the league? I think being the DC that tries to complete a Rodgers-led team is a great gig.
The conversation this week hasn’t just been about Capers, though – it’s been about the idea that the Packers have had terrible defenses for the last decade (overlooking their number 1 ranking in 2010, to be sure) and that’s the reason why they “can’t” win.
Those are two very different thoughts.
Am I ready to move on from Capers? Yes, but that doesn’t mean I think they’ve had a terrible D all these years (see that argument outlined here).
They have been average or mediocre, but they’ve good enough to win with while they have 12.
We aren’t on the doorstep this year any more, so let’s use this as an opportunity to try another direction on defense and see if we can make this better for the future. An internal promotion now (Trgovac would probably be my top choice) means we would basically get two cracks at finding a better DC, since you could always cut bait in January if it doesn’t work out.
I think two tries to should be plenty.
Count me in.

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