Anyone expecting fireworks, change, a firing somewhere were treated with a replay of last January. Another playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Another season-review news conference featuring Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy standing by his defensive coordinator. "You guys did this to me last year, OK," McCarthy said to reporters Wednesday. "I'm not going into this looking to make big changes." Staff evaluation is ongoing. But all signs point to McCarthy sticking with Dom Capers. Quite possibly, Green Bay will lose an assistant coach or two to promotion elsewhere. But internally, there's a confidence in Capers and the staff as a whole. The Packers aren't breaking up their coaching staff following Sunday's 23-20 playoff loss to the 49ers. Said McCarthy, "I think Dom Capers is an outstanding football coach, and I'm glad he's on our staff." Capers was not given the keys to a Corvette this season. In his fifth year as the coordinator, he manned a young, injury-plagued defense, one that finished with undrafted rookie Andy Mulumba lumbering toward Colin Kaepernick on a sprained knee. Yet while McCarthy did say Wednesday that statistics are "for losers," those statistics aren't pretty. The unit ranked 25th in yards allowed (372.2), 24th in points allowed (26.8) and 25th in opposing passer rating (95.9), a statistic that Capers often cites. The Packers forced 22 turnovers (11 fumbles, 11 interceptions), well below Capers' 33.3 average in Green Bay. Assistant coaches work through this week before getting time off. McCarthy plans to meet with all coaches, and Capers will meet with everyone on his staff. This defense got off to a fast start. The run defense was ranked as high as No. 3 in the NFL. The back half of the season, a team strength eroded into a glaring weakness. LeSean McCoy (25 carries, 155 yards), Matt Forte (46-235), Adrian Peterson/Toby Gerhart (40-237), Reggie Bush/Joique Bell (39-211), DeMarco Murray (18-134) and Le'Veon Bell (26-124) all were knives through butter. Meanwhile, turnovers weren't bailing the unit out of jams. As Capers said, "that's not a good combination.
Dom Capers intends to oversee turnaround of Packers' defense
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Jan 9