1) Introduction: Ever since the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2011, Capers’ defenses have been banged up, overmatched, pushed around and just plain lousy. The backlash against Capers has gotten so loud in Green Bay, there is actually a small backlash to the backlash going on. You know the backlash is bad when people start backlashing against the Capers backlash.
- Age: 63
- Born: 8/7/1950, in Cambridge, OH
- NFL Coaching Experience: 28 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: Build a more physical defense. It worked the first part of the season. Then injuries started wiping out key players and most of the middle of the defense completely disappeared.
The Packers in 2013 weren’t a complete mess on defense like they were in 2011. At times they were even better than they were in 2012. But at no point in the season did you ever feel like this defense was good enough to step up and carry the team for an extended stretch, if needed. They just weren’t good enough.
4) Season Highlights/Lowlights: With Aaron Rodgers out and the Packers needing late defensive stops to have a shot at stealing games against Chicago and Philadelphia in weeks 9 and 10, Capers’ defense went in the tank. The Bears held the ball for almost 9 minutes to seal the game and the Eagles for 9 minutes, 32 seconds to wrap up the victory. The defense also looked absolutely helpless in a blowout loss to Detroit on Thanksgiving.
Highlights included holding the Lions (without Calvin Johnson) to nine points in week 5 and coming up with a gritty performance the following week against Baltimore to help the Packers win despite several key injuries.
5) Contribution to the overall team success: I don’t know…do we give Capers credit for Sam Shields’ interception against the Cowboys? Do we pat Capers on the back for not allowing the Bears to score after the Rodgers-Randall Cobb miracle in Chicago?
This is where it gets tricky with Capers and why the people backlashing against the Capers backlash have a point: We get all ticked off at Capers when the Packers defense gets run over, then give credit to individual players instead of Capers when the Packers defense does something positive.
Is there a defensive coordinator in the league who could have success with Clay Matthews out, BJ Raji taking half the season off, and bad to mediocre players up the middle like A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings?
Then again, doesn’t Capers deserve blame for the aforementioned players underperforming or not developing?
There’s also the question of Capers’ scheme being overly complicated, and the general perception that the Packers just try to hang on when on defense instead of taking it to the opposing offense.
Yes, people backlashing against Capers and the people backlashing against the backlash both have points. Bottom line: The Packers defense once again wasn’t good enough in 2013.
6) Contributions in the playoffs: The playoffs were another sort of bright spot for Capers. The playoff loss to the 49ers was on the offense. Rodgers and the offense should’ve been able to muster more than 20 points and win that game. But when the game was on the line, the Packers defense couldn’t reign in Colin Kaepernick (again) and lost.
Season Report Card:
(D-) Level of expectations met during the season
(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(B-) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: D——————
Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .