Mike McCarthy’s Statement is Meaningless

packers defensive coordinator dom capers

Earlier in the week Mike McCarthy made headlines with one of his statements. He said that his defense was going to go more multiple next season, as opposed to base 3-4 principles. It will not matter what scheme the Packers run if they do not change their personnel.

Just a year ago McCarthy, after the Packers were dominated in the playoffs by the San Francisco 49ers claimed that he wanted to run more of Dom Capers’ base defense. There was good reason for that. The Packers were terrible against the run, and completely pushed around in that contest, and were eventually labeled soft throughout the offseason. This season the Packers did appear to run more base, and early in the season it paid dividends. The Packers at one point were ranked number one in the NFL against the run. Unfortunately, from there it all fell apart, and the Packers defense was a complete sieve by the end of the year.

As it seems to happen every year, the end of the season came, and fans clamored for Dom Capers to be fired. Others have speculated, and even wished for a switch back to the 4-3 defense. McCarthy’s statement gave some of those people hope that perhaps a transition to the 4-3 is closer than we think.

What I’ll say is, while I prefer the 3-4 defense, it will not matter if the Packers do not get better personnel. As the saying goes, “It’s Billy’s and Joe’s not X’s and O’s.” By the end of the season Dom Capers was using Datone Jones at outside linebacker, and worked for a team that employed arguably the worst starting safety tandem in the NFL. Morgan Burnett, and a combination of MD Jennings, Chris Banjo, and Sean Richardson failed to come up with a single interception. Even Chris Conte recorded an interception for the Chicago Bears.

Capers has not necessarily done a great job, but the scheme is far from the issue in Green Bay. The angst, and talk of switching the scheme is a misguided stance to take. The Packers got solid production out of one of their defensive lineman, that would be Mike Daniels. The Packers were inconsistent at the outside linebacker position. Part of that is due to the health issues Clay Matthews faced during the season, but most of it has to do with a lack of quality depth behind him. Nick Perry has been unable to stay healthy, Mike Neal was switching positions, and Andy Mulumba was an undrafted free agent.

The inside linebacker position was employed by AJ Hawk and a combination of Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore. Hawk has always been a steady player, and is coming off arguably his best season in a Packers uniform, but he has never been an impact player. Next to him, Lattimore flashed at times, and Brad Jones did not live up to his new contract.

Add all of those issues up, and what you have is a Packers defense that is in desperate need of new play makers, not a new defensive scheme.

Mike McCarthy may have said that his defense is looking to go more multiple, but unless there is a new injection of talent, both youth and veteran, It will not matter what scheme the Packers run. They will be in the bottom half of the league once again.

What McCarthy needs to do is stop looking for answers within the scheme, and start holding player accountable for their mistakes.

That will begin this offseason whether or not the Packers make any changes to the core of their defense.


Jacob Westendorf is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Jacob on twitter at