It should not be surprising to hear the names of current Green Bay Packers
coaches being mentioned as potential candidates for the Oakland Raiders
head coaching job. Given Reggie McKenzie's connections to that staff, it makes a lot of sense. However, despite that, a new name has emerged, and frankly, I'm surprised this is the first we have heard of this name. According to Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers is being considered for the Raiders' head coaching position
Dom Capers is the architect of the Packers rather impressive defense and has a long and impressive coaching resume.
Caper started his coaching career as a college assistant from 1972 until 1983. During that time, Capers was an assistant with Kent State, the University of Washington, Hawaii, San Jose State, California, Tennessee and Ohio State. After spending eleven years in the college ranks, Capers tried his hand in the pros, but not with the NFL. Capers had a one year stint as a defensive backs coach in the USFL from 1984 until 1985.
In 1986, Capers received his first NFL coaching opportunity with the New Orleans Saints
where he worked as a defensive backs coach from 1986 until 1991. In 1992, Capers left the Saints in order to take his first job as a defensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers
. Capers was the defensive coordinator for the Steelers until 1994 when he was given his first head coaching opportunity. In 1995, Capers was named the head coach of the expansion Carolina Panthers
In his first job as an NFL head coach, Capers started very strong. In their first season as an NFL franchise, Capers led the Panthers to a 7-9 record which broke the previous best for an expansion team's first season. As if that was not impressive enough, he took the Panthers to the NFC Championship game in their second season in existence. However, after their run to the NFC Championship game, the Panthers suffered a 7-9 season and a 4-12 season over the next two years. At the end of the 4-12 season, Capers was fired from his position as the Panthers head coach.
After losing his job with the Panthers, Capers went right back to coaching the next season when he was named the defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars
. Capers was only in that position for two seasons before being offered yet another opportunity as a head coach, this time with the expansion Houston Texans
Unfortunately for Capers, he did not see much success with the Texans. He coached the Texans for four years, and his best record during that time was a 7-9 in 2004. The next season, the Texans went 2-14 and Capers was fired from his second head coaching gig.
Once again, Capers did not waste any time getting back into coaching. The following season he was named an assistant coach for the Miami Dolphins
. After his first season with the Dolphins, he was named defensive coordinator for the following season when he was the highest paid assistant coach in the NFL. Capers eventually lost his defensive coordinators job with the Miami Dolphins when the entire coaching staff was gutted after the 2007 season.
After the Dolphins, Capers spent one year with the New England Patriots as a secondary coach before being hired by the Green Bay Packers where he has been the defensive coordinator ever since. Though the Packers defense is not great this year, it was ranked number 2 in the NFL in Capers' first year as defensive coordinator. In his second year, they were second in scoring defense, fifth in over all defense, second in interceptions and turnovers and first in opposing QB passer rating.
Needless to say, Capers knows what he is doing on the defensive side of the ball. Whether or not he can be a successful head coach is a different question.