After reviewing Capers’ overall coaching record a few days ago, I had become suddenly nervous about hiring him. He owns a weak, weak head coaching record and an OK D-Coordinator record. As I told Brother Steve yesterday, my preference would have been to wait for a younger guy and take a chance (Keith Butler or AZ’s LB coach – apparently the Eagles Sean McDermott was not really an option after all as the Eagles wouldn’t have let him interview, according to Tom Silverstein).
However, now that we have apparently hired Capers, I must say, I’m not super pumped up but I’m also not totally disappointed. My major reason for not totally hating this move is that he has experience and I believe it was perhaps a lack of experience that made Bob Sanders seemingly freeze during some games and not make necessary adjustments. Even though Capers failed as a head coach, he may just be one of those guys who is better not being THE guy. I could be wrong here because I have seen Capers have that dumbfounded, no-clue look on his face when things weren’t going right. But something tells me that his experience may help us make adjustments on the fly – especially considering he has 3-4/4-3 and hybrid scheme experience. The one concern I had about my own preference for a younger coach like Keith Butler (and Sean McDermott before he was essentially deemed unavailable), was whether they would be able to recognize the variety of offensive plays coming at the defense and then be able to counter and adapt quick enough.
I also think at least a small part of this hire came down to MM/TT being somewhat afraid for their own jobs. If they take a chance on a young swashbuckler, and the guy/defense fails and the team stinks, chances are more than decent that MM/TT may not be asked to come back in 2010. However, by picking an experienced guy who probably has a quality overall NFL reputation, it is less risky and if the defense sucks, they can say things like “we just need a bit more time for the players to adapt to the scheme” and stuff like that.
(One thing I do like about Capers is the apparent fact that he didn’t get along too well with Bill Belichick and that’s why the Patriots had no problem with him leaving. Now, make no mistake, I greatly admire Belichick’s football mind, but his personality strikes me as, well, jackass-like. He kind of seems like that old neighbor on your block when you were growing up who terrified neighborhood kids because he was such a jackass. In fact, this reminds me, there was once a sort-of-neighbor by our grade school who was so angry that my friend hit a foul ball into his yard when we were playing baseball, that he went into the garage, grabbed a gas can, plopped our hard ball on the driveway and set it on fire. I could see Belichick doing that in a few years).