Chicago thoughts on Capers

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Interesting article here from Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune. Pompei essentially argues that of all the off-season activity in the NFC North, the Packers hiring of Dom Capers may have the biggest impact. I think he may be right – and of course, I really hope he’s right.

In January, I argued that the Pack ought to move to a 3-4 defense. I’ve felt this way for a while now primarily because it’s been quite a while since a Packers defense has been really good several years in a row (and we’ve played a 4-3 now for years). I think there are several advantages to moving to a 3-4 – and I’ll throw it out there again, so does LeRoy Butler (who remains a close follower of the team). One big advantage, as Capers notes in this article, is that there are only a few NFC teams right now playing a 3-4. So, for most weeks, NFC teams will be preparing for 4-3 defenses, which may make having to prepare for our unique/hybrid 3-4 a bit more challenging – especially in its first year when opponents won’t have the luxury of hours of tape and a sense for our defensive tendencies.

As Pompei also writes, Packer fans should take some comfort in the fact that Capers has had solid success in helping 4-3 defenses transition to 3-4 defenses. My guess is that at least part of that success is attributable to his willingness to be flexible. As he notes in the article, forcing your existing players into a certain scheme is not the way to go about this. Instead, he and the staff need to flex some and figure out ways for the existing personnel to contribute their strengths to a 3-4 scheme that is not rigid.

That said, one thing I do wonder about is how flexible he will be with Harris and Woodson. His quote in the article (indicating that it’s easier to learn zone coverage after playing man-to-man than the other way around) suggests to me that he actually is planning to play Harris and Woodson a lot in zone coverage. Maybe Harris and Woodson will do fine with that – they are gifted, instinctual players. But I’d be a bit concerned about pushing them too far away from something they are uniquely good at – bump and run man-to-man coverage.

We’ll see in the end – but I am beginning to think we’ll see a very active defense that will rotate a good number of players in and out keeping everyone fresh. My guess is that it won’t take long for this defense to come together and be quite effective (especially if Raji can adapt well enough to start at DE within the first few games). I can envision a few coverage lapses due to uncertain communication in the first few games, but I also can see that Capers will make sure that gets cleaned up (vs. the previous defenses led by Sanders who had communication issues right through to game 16 of last year). I also believe that Capers will prove he is capable at making adjustments on the fly (far more capable as a D-Coordinator than he was as a head coach).

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4 Responses to “Chicago thoughts on Capers”

  1. Aaron Says:

    I’ve been saying this since the day Capers was hired. He is more important than ANY free agent the Packers could have brought in.

  2. 56Coop Says:

    My only hope is we get way less of those ridiculous & back breaking pass interference calls (although I think a lot of them were thrown just because the Pack is known to play very aggressively on pass coverage).

  3. Ron La Canne Says:

    No question that Capers is a giant plus over Sanders. The new defensive scheme will be an improvmet of geometeric proportion. Still, you’ve got to have the players to implement the defense. Right now I’d say the starting Dline is adequate. The LB’s still a big question mark, especially Barnett and AJ playing the ILB positions. Neither is the overwhelming presence that ttpifies the ILB in the 34. The D backs are good and should handle their end acceptably. In short. I worry about the LB’s and injuries in the Dline.

  4. Cindy V Says:

    To change the subject a tad, today I read Michael Irvin’s comment on the Favre situation. He says Brett should stay retired because playing for the Vikings will kill Packer fans. These fans, says Irvin, supported Brett for 16 years and made him a rich man. He says Brett could make millions selling 4 Packer jerseys but becoming a Viking would destroy his legacy.

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