Green Bay Packers fire DC Dom Capers after nine seasons

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (UPI) — The Green Bay Packers fired defensive coordinator Dom Capers on Monday after nine seasons, according to multiple reports.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel confirmed the reports by ESPN and NFL Network. According to the reports, Capers was let go after a season-ending 35-11 loss at Detroit on Sunday.

ESPN also reported that several defensive coaches will be let go.

The Packers missed the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons and ranked 22nd in total defense for the second year in a row while going 7-9. Green Bay posted its first losing season since going 6-10 in 2008 and it was their third losing campaign since 1991.

In 2015, the Packers ranked sixth against the pass, seventh in opposing quarterback rating, ninth in interceptions and tied for 12th in points allowed, but they significantly slipped in the last two years despite several high draft picks being used on defensive players.

The Packers owned a top-10 secondary in five of Capers first seven seasons, but Green Bay’s defense finished with 11 interceptions and allowed 24 points per game, which ranked 26th and its deficiencies were highlighted with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers injured.

In the nine games Rodgers missed with a collarbone injury, the Packers were 5-4 and allowed 24 points per game and 359.7 yards per contest.

Capers, 67, took over for Bob Sanders and helped the Packers win the Super Bowl in 2011. Sanders was fired after the 2008 season.

Capers is the third coordinator to be fired by Mike McCarthy in 12 years as head coach. Besides Capers and Sanders, McCarthy also fired special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum after the 2014 season.

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Capers has been in the NFL since 1986 and it’s unknown if he will pursue other opportunities. He holds a 48-80 regular-season coaching record for the Carolina Panthers (1995-1998) and Houston Texans (2002-2005).

Before becoming the first head coach of Carolina, he was the defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1992 to 1994. He also was Jacksonville’s defensive coordinator for two seasons before becoming the first head coach for the Texans.

Before joining the Packers, he spent two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, including one as a defensive coordinator. He also was the secondary coach for the New England Patriots in the season before joining the Packers.

Several internal candidates may be considered for the job, including associate defensive head coach Winston Moss, cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr., safeties coach Darren Perry and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac. Trgovac was Carolina’s defensive coordinator from 2003 to 2008 before coming to Green Bay with Capers.

If Green Bay opts to go outside the organization, the Journal-Sentinel reported that candidates may be Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Gregg Williams of the Cleveland Browns and Steve Spagnuolo, who served as interim head coach of the New York Giants after Ben McAdoo was fired.

Fangio was Capers’ defensive coordinator in Carolina from 1995 to 1998.

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