INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike McCarthy confirmed what has been obvious since his season-ending press conference: He’s retaining Dom Capers as his defensive coordinator.
Capers’ job status became an issue when the Packers gave up an NFL playoff-record 579 yards in a 45-31 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a game in which the Packers couldn’t contain 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a scrambler or running the read option.
But in his press conference shortly after the season McCarthy gave every indication that Capers would be back in 2013. When the Packers made no announcements to the contrary in the couple of weeks thereafter, it was clear McCarthy was sticking with the man who has been running his defense since 2009.
“When you lose a game like that, everyone’s placing the blame on one area or one person,” McCarthy said in an interview at the NFL scouting combine today. “That’s why whenever my press conference was, I don’t recall what day it was, Tuesday (the week) after the game, it’s important to take a step back. I understand the emotion of it, but Dom Capers is an outstanding football coach. I feel the same way about him today as I did the past four years.”
Capers has been running NFL defenses as coordinator or head coach every season but one since 1992. Perhaps the biggest issue was whether a coach at his age, 62, still has the hunger and energy to perform at a top level in the NFL. After the season, Capers expressed a strong desire to coach for years to come.
“I understand how old he is,” McCarthy said, “but Dom’s consistently the first guy in, he’s got a tremendous work ethic. If anything the coaching staff can take a page from his work ethic and his ability to focus. He puts everything he can into it, he loves it. He hasn’t slowed down since the day I met him.”