Packers coach Mike McCarthy has proven he’s willing to stick with the people he trusts.
It worked before in the case of kicker Mason Crosby, and now he’s applying the same principle to defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
Just as he was willing to ride out Crosby’s 2012 slump and has been rewarded with four straight seasons of dependable kicking, McCarthy’s hoping the Packers bounce back quickly after ranking 31st in the league in pass defense last year. That means the 66-year-old Capers is coming back, despite mounting criticism.
“Well, going back to the Mason Crosby comment, and obviously applying that to the question about Dom, I think it’s important to recognize, as far answering your question about it being easy to make that change, it would give everybody a breath of fresh air,” McCarthy told ESPN Milwaukee’s Wilde and Tausch show. “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. I know I have personally. So I’ve always held true to that in my decision-making process.”
Of course, the performance of the Packers defense last year, and their secondary in particular, can easily be traced to the injuries that piled up in spots. So the Packers used their first four draft picks on that side of the ball, going secondary with their first two (cornerback Kevin King and safety Josh Jones).
“I think it’s impossible to win without a process,” McCarthy said. “We’re not throwing money into a hat and trying to buy a lottery ticket here. You have to go through the process and the steps to get things right. And it’s no different with our defense. Will we be better than last year? Last year is a comparable. But the reality of who we play, when we play them, how we play them, who’s healthy and so forth, I mean, you never make excuses for the health of your football team, but it’s a pretty important variable in being successful.”
And that bought Capers another year, which McCarthy hopes turns out as well as it did with his kicker.