Packers D Scheme Versatile for the Future

This is not a #FireCapers article.  I want to make that clear.  The Packers were 9th in defensive DVOA in 2015.  I promise you that should have been good enough.  The Packers had the #1 offensive DVOA in 2014 and were supposed to return all 11 starters.  That obviously went a different direction when they lost Jordy Nelson to injury, but it continued with nagging injuries to Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, Andrew Quarless and the entire offensive line.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there’s something physically wrong with Aaron Rodgers after the season ends.

The #1 offense and the #9 defense would have been good enough for another deep playoff run.  That’s not what I am anticipating this postseason.  The Packers will more than likely win their game in Washington against the Redskins and go no further in 2015.  But that is not Dom Capers fault.  He’s held up his end of the bargain in 2015.

At the same time, Dom Capers is 65 years old.  He’ll be 66 before the beginning of the 2016 season.  Whether or not he’s fired or quits there is going to be a different defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers at some point during the Aaron Rodgers era.  It’s certainly possible that there will be a different General Manager as well, but that’s not the road we are currently going down.

Speaking of the General Manager, Ted Thompson has been supplying Capers and the defense with talent for quite a while.  The Packers have used six of their last eight first round draft choices on defenders.  Thompson has also added three second round picks on defense during that time.  The Packers have invested in their defense.

The good thing about those investments is that I feel like they are versatile.  I mean versatile in the sense of the front seven.  It doesn’t matter what front you play as far as the secondary is concerned.  Some of this is already on tape.  Clay Matthews can both defend the edge and play off the ball.

In this piece from Bob McGinn, an executive maintains that Datone Jones (who had his best season in 2015) would be best served at defensive end.  Mike Daniels is also scheme versatile.  Nick Perry never even wanted to play linebacker.  BJ Raji has maintained that he would love to play NT in a 4-3 scheme.

Take a look at this:

LE: Datone Jones
NT: BJ Raji
DT: Mike Daniels
RE: Nick Perry
WLB: Clay Matthews
MLB: Jake Ryan
SLB: Sam Barrington
CB: Sam Shields
SS: Morgan Burnett
FS: HaHa Clinton-Dix
CB: Damarious Randall
NB: Casey Hayward

It would be fine.  Maybe not right away but it would be fine.

Often times players are drafted from schools that run a “40” front and converted to fit into a “30” front (like the one that Capers plays).  In fact, of the front seven, only Datone Jones played in a 3-4 defense during his entire career.  Jake Ryan played in one a little bit at Michigan.  Raji was a 4-3 DT, so was Daniels.  Perry a right end.  Barrington and Matthews were 4-3 OLBs.

What I’m mostly getting after is that the Packers, like their defenders can be “versatile” moving forward.  They don’t have to pick from Capers’ assistant tree to find a new defensive coordinator after he goes.  They don’t even need to stick with “30” front coaches.  If the Packers want to switch to a 4-3 base defense with their current personnel, it would certainly be possible.


Ross Uglem is a writer at You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem


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2 thoughts on “Packers D Scheme Versatile for the Future

  1. YOU FAIL to prove Capers system works when you realize the Packers and Thompson have provided Dom Capers with MORE than 50+ NEW defensive players over the past 5 seasons and they are but slightly more dominant than they were last year. That’s enough NEW players to BUILD FIVE COMPLETE DEFENSIVE UNITS–where’s the real success? They DON’T have 50 plus defenders on the team, so that’s a LOT OF PICKS, signings of UDFA’s or FA’s that’s cost a LOT of money over this period with not a lot of success. When you consider Packers have averaged winning 11 games a season in that 5 year period including this year–but 22 of their 56 wins have been against division opponents in one of NFC’s weakest divisions. PACKERS FANS–against WINNING TEAMS, the Packers are ONLY 15 WINS, 13 LOSSES in the past FIVE seasons under McCarthy! THAT IS NOT A RECORD OF MUCH SUCCESS–NOW YOU KNOW WHY THEY AREN’T VERY GOOD IN PLAYOFFS!

  2. Perhaps a higher investment at offense might have been more apropos. Rodgers was sacked 46 times this season, 2nd worst after Blake Bortles. The Packers have had 4 touchdowns in the last 3 games, I think. They put up 4 touchdowns on several games last year. McCarthy has been very late creating schemes that allow his bad crew of receivers to get open. All isn’t fine in the tundra, to say the least. I personally think McCarthy is getting very outdated and if he loses to the Redskins by an unthinkable margin, the natives are going to get very restless. And if this happens the cash cow will suffer. And should this happen, the boys upstairs may actually be unforgiving.

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