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Author Topic: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"  (Read 4200 times)

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AldenRoche

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This is what Packers were saying about their D going into the season, less than 2 months ago. Incredible read.

With healthy players – B.J. Raji notwithstanding – and some tricks up his sleeve, defensive coordinator Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again. (9-3-14 http://www.espnwisconsin.com/common/page.php?feed=2&id=15671&is_corp=1).

The excitement feels genuine. It doesn’t feel like the before-the-season, hope-springs-eternal tripe that sometimes passes for excitement in the days leading up to the first game. No, the enthusiasm emanating from the members of the Green Bay Packers defense seems to be the real deal.

From increased depth in the secondary at cornerback and safety (first-round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix isn’t even a starter), to the offseason signing of 13-year veteran defender Julius Peppers, to the healthy return of four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews from a twice-broken, twice-surgically repaired thumb, to schematic changes that will employ less scheme but more personnel groupings, the team is convinced that it has the right recipe to return to being the top-10 defense it was during its Super Bowl XLV title season of 2010.

“I think we’re real excited,” Matthews said earlier this week, in advance of Thursday night’s regular-season opener against the defending Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. “Our expectations are always sky high when we line up and start the year, we always feel like we can better this year than in year’s prior, [but] especially now.

“We’re not working with a patchwork defense in which we’re bringing in guys [every week] – even though we may have [added some] with Peppers and draft picks like Ha Ha – but we feel good. We feel like we’ve got some talent out there.

“We feel like we’re physical, fast, aggressive and ready to make a statement and kind of get back to that defense we were accustomed to in 2009, 2010, early in my career.”

In 2009, the Packers ranked No. 2 in total defense, No. 7 in scoring defense and No. 1 in takeaways). In 2010, they were No. 5 in total defense, No. 2 in scoring defense and No. 6 in takeaways.

“We’re as excited as probably a lot of Packers fans are to watch it,” added inside linebacker A.J. Hawk, the unit’s most senior member. “We’ve been sitting here talking about this game and this season and what we’re going to do and adding Julius and HaHa and all the other young guys – and we want to see it, too. We know what we’re capable of and we need to find a way to bring it to the field in the first real game. We’re ready and we’re anxious, for sure.”

In hopes of delivering, defensive coordinator Dom Capers had to alter his approach. He famously has more than 150 defenses in the three-ring binders that he brought with him upon his hiring in January 2009, but he and head coach Mike McCarthy had some long, difficult conversations during the offseason about the direction of the unit.

While McCarthy believed that injuries once again reduced the defense’s effectiveness, he wanted the unit to be better prepared if misfortune was again an issue. That meant scaling back on scheme in the event that younger players were forced into the lineup, but also getting more creative with more players so the group wouldn’t be relying on its stars quite as heavily.

It also led to the creation of the “elephant” position, a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid that will utilize the versatility of Peppers, converted defensive end Mike Neal and 2012 first-round pick Nick Perry, among others. Because each has an appealing combination of size and athleticism, you might see Peppers with his hand down on the ground in a three-point stance one play, and standing up in a two-point stance the next.

“We have a lot of different combinations we can put out there,” Peppers said slyly this week. “We’re excited about the people, the weapons that we can put on the field.”

That flexibility will allow Capers to disguise and – he hopes – confuse opposing offenses in passing situations, as his scheme has always been most effective when the quarterback doesn’t know exactly where the pressure will be coming from.

“People say, ‘Why have you always liked the 3-4, been based out of the 3-4?’ Because you’ve got four linebackers, and any combination of those four linebackers can become rushers or droppers,” Capers explained. “If you’re a four-down [lineman] scheme, normally, I think that people are more geared in on who your rushers are going to be.

“This is the first time Julius has really done that. We’ve been pleased with what we’ve seen out of him doing it. … The more those guys can do that, the harder it makes for people to prepare for you.”

During Capers’ first five seasons as defensive coordinator, the Packers had 37 sacks in 2009 (tied for 11th), 47 in 2010 (tied for second), 29 in 2011 (tied for 27th), 47 in 2012 (fourth) and 44 last season (tied for sixth).

But according to Pro Football Focus, the Packers’ pressure numbers (quarterback hits plus hurries) were 199 in 2009, 213 in 2010, 205 in 2011, 172 in 2012 and 209 last year. While sacks are wonderful, Capers wants more consistent pressure more than anything, which would help create the takeaways they lacked last season, when they had just 22, marking the second straight year of setting a team-low during the Capers era. For comparison, they had 40 in 2009, 32 in 2010, 38 in 2011 and 23 in 2012.

“What I think you’ll get to see a little more this year [is] turning guys loose and allowing them to do what fits them best,” Matthews said. “We’re finding guys that fit the scheme, not the other way around. Pressure on a quarterback, I love the way we get after the quarterback.”

But according to defensive end Mike Daniels, it’s also about bringing an attitude that the unit has lacked in recent years – an attitude the Seahawks clearly embrace.

“You watched the Super Bowl, right? OK. That kind of explains it,” Daniels said. “If you play defense and you watched the Super Bowl and didn’t take notes, you probably don’t belong here, because they showed how you get it done.”

Now, it’s the Packers’ turn – and while McCarthy disputed the use of the word “unveiling” when asked about his defense entering the opener, you can bet Capers has a few unscouted looks planned for the champs.

“You hope you have enough things that can work. We’ve got a big challenge,” Capers said. “There’s always a lot of excitement surrounding the first game because there’s always more unknowns going into the first game than any other time.

“I think our guys are excited about the challenge. I think they’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Wonder where it went wrong during the first half of the year?

Offline The GM

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2014, 06:03:37 PM »
This year?????, This defense has been a disgrace for three years.  He should have been gone when Kaepernick set records against his defense and he has no answer for any contending team since.  He hides behind Rodgers and this offense, and the Packers need to can this guy and his staff as soon as the season ends.  Capers is just riding Rodgers coattails and putting this garbage defense out there week after week.  32nd vs the run??  There isnt anybody you know dead or alive that cant do that.   
« Last Edit: November 02, 2014, 06:22:26 PM by The GM »

Offline VoiceofReason

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 02:10:37 PM »
I really don't care what Capers believed.  He's the DC, of course he's going to spin it that way.  MM is the one who's responsible, he believed it.  And, by the way, had plenty of say in building the defense- including decisions to re-sign Hawk, Jones, and Neal.

Offline B

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 08:07:07 AM »
He is not spinning.

I have never met a coach who did not believe he and his team could get it done. The defense still needs a great deal of work - but we have just reached the half way point in the season. Capers. his defensive coaching staff and each defensive player needs to focus on getting better individually and collectively each day and each game. Capers is an old accomplished Pro, he knows that throwing up your hands and throwing in the white towel are not options 8 games into a season.
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
-Vince Lombardi

AldenRoche

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2014, 10:01:55 AM »
Hopefully ol' accomplished pro Dom's belief, which he stated prior to the season, that the Pack's D will be Championship caliber again will not prove hollow at the end of the year, because it certainly has been proven hollow through the first 1/2 the season.

Offline B

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 10:29:24 AM »
Hopefully ol' accomplished pro Dom's belief, which he stated prior to the season, that the Pack's D will be Championship caliber again will not prove hollow at the end of the year, because it certainly has been proven hollow through the first 1/2 the season.

Indeed
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
-Vince Lombardi

Offline Zyvlyn

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 11:42:17 AM »
Halfway through the season, the defense is ranked 25th in the league.  Which is exactly where they were at the end of last season.  If that isn't IMPROVEMENT in big letters, I dont know what is.

Offline Twain

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2014, 12:38:47 PM »
Halfway through the season, the defense is ranked 25th in the league.  Which is exactly where they were at the end of last season.  If that isn't IMPROVEMENT in big letters, I dont know what is.

While disappointing so far given the promises before the season, we should remember that the Saints won the super bowl with the 25th ranked regular season defense.   It can happen.
"The trouble ain't that there are too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right."

Offline get louder at lambeau

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 12:32:15 PM »
Halfway through the season, the defense is ranked 25th in the league.  Which is exactly where they were at the end of last season.  If that isn't IMPROVEMENT in big letters, I dont know what is.

While disappointing so far given the promises before the season, we should remember that the Saints won the super bowl with the 25th ranked regular season defense.   It can happen.
We should cut AR as the skins won a superbowl with Mark Rypien.
Why can't Ted Thompson be the MVP of the NFL?

Offline claymaker

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 01:27:51 PM »
I mean what did you want him to say? The defense will continue to be terrible and disappoint our fans? It amazes how much time and effort is spent on words like these and how it's their fault. I see very inconsistent play from the front 7 this year. That's why the defense is playing poorly, mainly vs the run.

Offline B

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2014, 01:38:39 PM »
I mean what did you want him to say? The defense will continue to be terrible and disappoint our fans? It amazes how much time and effort is spent on words like these and how it's their fault. I see very inconsistent play from the front 7 this year. That's why the defense is playing poorly, mainly vs the run.
Right on!
The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game.
They just ran out of time.
-Vince Lombardi

Offline get louder at lambeau

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2014, 02:10:44 PM »
I mean what did you want him to say? The defense will continue to be terrible and disappoint our fans? It amazes how much time and effort is spent on words like these and how it's their fault. I see very inconsistent play from the front 7 this year. That's why the defense is playing poorly, mainly vs the run.
A little humility and self deprecation would go a long way. "We've had a few tough years and I hold myself accountable for that. I think we've made some strides this offseason, but I know that we have to earn the fans trust and respect. We'll be taking things slow and be looking to improve, on game at a time. I'm very optimistic and can't wait to show the improvements that we've made"
Why can't Ted Thompson be the MVP of the NFL?

AldenRoche

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2014, 04:36:23 PM »
I mean what did you want him to say? The defense will continue to be terrible and disappoint our fans? It amazes how much time and effort is spent on words like these and how it's their fault. I see very inconsistent play from the front 7 this year. That's why the defense is playing poorly, mainly vs the run.

My retirement party will begin at ...

Offline Scott1956

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2014, 07:52:38 PM »
The last few years all I've heard is that the Packer Defense would be better if they could be healthy. Outside of the way overrated Raji, they have been. What is the excuse going to be this year for another horrible defense?

Offline claymaker

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Re: "Dom Capers believes his defense will be championship caliber again"
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2014, 08:16:53 PM »
I mean what did you want him to say? The defense will continue to be terrible and disappoint our fans? It amazes how much time and effort is spent on words like these and how it's their fault. I see very inconsistent play from the front 7 this year. That's why the defense is playing poorly, mainly vs the run.
A little humility and self deprecation would go a long way. "We've had a few tough years and I hold myself accountable for that. I think we've made some strides this offseason, but I know that we have to earn the fans trust and respect. We'll be taking things slow and be looking to improve, on game at a time. I'm very optimistic and can't wait to show the improvements that we've made"

Yet you'd still be here complaining about how the defense isn't "championship" caliber. You'd probably go on about how he's lost the edge admitting his defense isn't great, and how his "negative" attitude now reflects on the field.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 08:18:52 PM by claymaker »