Changes are in the works for the Packers this offseason, which is now underway after Sunday’s 35-11 loss at Detroit. The Packers finish the season with a 7-9 record, their first losing mark since 2008, the last time they failed to make the playoffs.
ESPN first reported late Saturday night that that defensive coordinator Dom Capers will not be back next season for the Packers. Head Coach Mike McCarthy refused to address that report following the loss to the Lions.
This was his opening statement: “"Let me say this, I’ll answer questions about Packers versus the Lions today, OK. I get where we’re at this point of the season. I haven’t been in this position for a number of years but I’m here to answer questions about the game, so let’s not waste each other’s time."
Capers joined the Packers in 2009, and immediately fielded the 2nd best defense in the league. A year later, they were ranked 5th in total defense en route to winning the Super Bowl. But they haven’t had a top ten unit since. They finished 2017 ranked 23rd.
The 67-year old Capers was often dealt a short hand with personnel; but after 9 years, a new voice appears to be needed. But Capers has support in the locker room. “He's definitely a legend in this game. And I'm really thankful that he is my defensive coordinator,” said defensive tackle Mike Daniels, who joined the Packers in 2012. “Every team has ups and downs, you look at all the great coaches throughout history; it's the NFL.”
Like Daniels, safety Morgan Burnett has played for just one defensive coordinator since entering the league in 2010, Capers’ 2nd year in Green Bay. “Dom has done a great job. He's a great mind, a great defensive coordinator,” said Burnett Sunday. “I've been with him my whole career, and that coaching staff on the defensive side, you enjoy playing for them because you know as players they have our back. And when you have a coach that is going to have your back no matter what, that makes you as a player want to go out and play hard for him.”