FanPost

Players or Dom Capers to blame? There's a third option.

In much of the discussions around here and other websites, there seem to be two camps. One says that the blame lies with the defensive coordinator Dom Capers. The other says that Capers doesn't have the players and talent he needs to execute his plans. What's missing from this discussion is the role the position coaches play in translating the DC's game plan to on-the-field preparation and execution. Capers has said several times that he can devise schemes and game plans that put players in position to make a play, but he can't make them execute. If an OLB fails to set the edge and force the RB inside, that is not the DC's fault, but I would argue the position coach does share some of the blame.

The other role position coaches play is in developing talent so our young players are making marked improvement from one season to the next. How many players on defense have made steady progress? How many are underperforming and not making that leap that we all are hoping for?

If the problem is indeed with the position coaches, there are a few options the Packers could explore. The first would be to inject some new coaching talent from the outside. The Packers are always losing coaches and coordinators to other teams, but only promote from within. I think that's a fine strategy, but you risk promoting a coach to a level that is beyond their competency. If we lose Ben McAdoo, let's look for the best quarterbacks coach that's available, both within and outside the Packers organization, instead of giving it as a promotion to the next guy in line.

Another option would be to take a more interdisciplinary approach. For example, have the cornerbacks coach teach OLBs how to drop into coverage, have the wide receivers coach teach the safeties how to go up and get a jump ball, and have the quarterbacks coach teach the wide receivers how to get open when the QB is scrambling. This may happen to some degree with coaches like Edgar Bennett who emphasized ball security to the wide receivers when he was their coach, but a more deliberate effort to find out what each coach teaches best and let him do so could really benefit the players.

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