Each season in which the Green Bay Packers’ defense ends up being the reason (again) why they lost in the playoffs, people call for defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ head.
Each time that happens, head coach Mike McCarthy predictably does nothing.
Led by a awful secondary and mostly non-existent pass rush, the 2016 season again ended in that fashion. The Packers gave up 44 points and 493 yards to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game. Those numbers surely would have been greater if Atlanta hadn’t coasted to a 31-0 lead and taken their foot off the pedal.
But Dom Capers shall not take the blame for that. Not now, not ever.
McCarthy explained his thinking on Wilde and Tausch this morning.
“I think all of us in life have always gone through experiences in our past that you may have quit on something just to get that fresh, new start, and it feels good but in hindsight it was not the best thing for you,” McCarthy said. “I know I have personally. So I’ve always held true to that in my decision-making process.”
“Results don’t always prove to be the answer to the right decision. It’s no different than the way we view plays, and this is a conversation Dom and I have all the time.”
I really enjoy how McCarthy basically says “results don’t matter” right there.
McCarthy actually circled back to kicker Mason Crosby. Everyone wanted Crosby’s head after his disastrous 2012 season, one in which he hit a career-low 63.6 percent of his field goals.
The Packers brought in some token competition the next year, but they stuck with Crosby and he’s kicked well since then.
And while that’s swell, I would say it isn’t the same thing. Crosby has performed at a consistently high level since the 2012 season, connecting on more than 85 percent of his kicks each year.
Capers hasn’t coached a top 10-ranked defense since 2010. That isn’t coincidentally the last time the Packers won a Super Bowl.
The Packers’ defense hasn’t ranked better than 15th since 2012.
So it isn’t like Capers had one bad year sprinkled among a bunch of good ones like Crosby did.
But that’s why he’s Teflon Dom. Nothing will ever stick!