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Capers has put Texans' coaching days behind him

Oct. 13, 2012
 

It’s hard enough being an NFL head coach, but the job is even more difficult when you’re leading an expansion team.

Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers pulled down that duty twice during his long coaching tenure. But neither stint lasted more than four seasons.

Capers coached the Carolina Panthers from 1995-98 and posted a 30-34 record before getting fired. In just their second year of existence, he led the 1996 Panthers to a 12-4 record and a berth in the NFC championship game, where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Packers at Lambeau Field.

Capers got a second expansion head coaching shot with the Houston Texans, the Packers’ opponent on Sunday night. He was hired in 2001 to start another team from scratch and posted an 18-46 record with the Texans during the 2002-05 seasons before getting fired.

“One thing in this business, obviously I spent five years there, so obviously I spent a lot of time in that stadium getting things started,” said Capers. “But once things are over, you kind of close the book on that chapter and you move on. It means a lot more to me going down trying to get a win for the Green Bay Packers.”

Capers was replaced by current Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who failed to get his team to the playoffs during his first five seasons at the helm, posting records of 6-10, 8-8, 8-8, 9-7 and 6-10.

But last year the Texans’ patience with Kubiak paid off when Houston won the AFC South Division with a 10-6 record and won the franchise’s first playoff game with a 31-10 victory over Cincinnati. Houston lost to Baltimore 20-13 in the divisional round. This season the Texans are one of just two unbeaten NFL teams at 5-0.

“I think he’s done a very nice job,” said Capers of Kubiak. “Obviously you look at their team now, this is Gary’s seventh year. To me, what that shows is the consistency of being in a place and having a system in place. It took him to his sixth year to have a (playoff) season, so I give him credit for being patient and letting things work and now that it’s paying dividends for him.”

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