November 19, 2017

Capers Signs On With Pats

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

The Patriots have hired veteran NFL coach Dom Capers to be the team’s special assistant/secondary coach.

Capers will replace the departing Joel Collier, but even at first glance, you have to wonder if there’s more to it.  

Like, what’s a ‘special’ assistant? Coach Bill Belichick may have answered this one in his team-issued statement, “I look forward to getting to work with Dom and Dean [Pees] immediately.” I understand it’s just a press release, but given that statement and Capers’ history as a defensive coordinator, it may be clearer what’s “special” about him.

Capers is said to have recently turned down an offer to be defensive coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys; granted, alot depends on the right fit, but DC still seems to be a step above assistant and position coach.

For all the faults of the almost-world-beating offense in the Super Bowl, the fact remains that for two years running, the Pats defense could not stop the winning points from being scored at the end of a championship game. That’s a gradual yet sharp decline from what that defense once was, when it once dominated the best offenses in the league, with many of the same players. Which is probably the biggest part of the problem now, the passage of time being what it is. My prevailing thought on that Sunday night almost three weeks ago was that, most of all, something had to change with this defense.

It’s only an assumption at this point that Capers is the first step in that change, and that the team is moving towards a more aggressive style. My recollection of Capers’ defenses is that he made big stars out of lunatics like Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene and Carnell Lake, all of them blitzing from every angle, pretty much all the time. A 3-4, but one that was really predicated on its hyper-aggressive pass rush, particularly from its linebackers. Much more so than the Patriots seem to have been recently.

Which would bring further urgency to replenish a defense – with all due respect – that simply isn’t good enough to be depended on anymore, not in the way it used to be. You don’t just stumble across an offense that ends up scoring more points than anyone ever has. There was some planning behind that, and considering the way things have ended in each of the last two years, you have to ask yourself if there are others who reached that conclusion long before us.

Or maybe I’m just getting way ahead of myself. Maybe Capers is here simply to deal with a post-Samuel secondary, and to find the right mix of Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders and Rodney Harrison. Maybe he’s here to chip in with a thought here and there. Maybe he’s here simply to do a good job in a high profile situation, as he often has as an assistant, and hope for his third try as a head coach.



  1. and Capers does have some HEAD coaching experience. So if Matt Walsh does have some damaging evidence and Belichick gets a huge suspention, Capers can step right in. not saying that’s going to happen but…….Maybe.

  2. How soon before Mike Florio runs with this?

  3. I’d be willing to bet that Gholston is #1 on the Pats draft board. This biggest need is an athletic freak linebacker, not these 230#ers from Penn State.

  4. That’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen posted on the intertubes. The noose is tightening!

  5. Rick, conspiracy theorists love this but you’ll note Capers lack of success in previous jobs. Most people know Belichick will do anything to help his team win – he was a great DC but hired Romeo Crennel only because Crennel is a great DC himself.

    Belichick addressed weaknesses every year (remember what he did last off-season?) and Capers, while probably not a good HC, adds a lot of knowledge to the staff.

    I don’t think this hiring extends beyond making the Patriots a better team but then again it wouldn’t give the media the soap opera it requires to operate. Speculation kills a lot of weak minds.

  6. LMFAO!…Hey Scott the answer to your question is, 12 Hours. That’s how long it took Florio to run with it…..Too funny. That post was done “tongue-in-cheek” ..not saying Florio read it here but….maybe…..>>>>>>>>

    POSTED 9:29 a.m. EST, February 22, 2008


    Several members of PFT Planet have raised an intriguing question about the addition of Dom Capers to the coaching staff in New England.

    Is Capers, as one reader put it, the “break glass in case of emergency” option in the event that Spygate II goes to hell in a handbasket and Bill Belichick gets suspended by the league and/or fired by the team?

    The answer might lie in Capers’ contract, which almost certainly will never be exposed to the light of day. If there’s a written provision making him the head coach in the event of any sudden “incapacity” of Belichick, then this means that the powers-that-be have planned for the possibility, however remote it might be, that something bad could happen if/when Matt Walsh ever shows what he has and says what he knows.

    By having Capers’ elevation reduced to writing, the Pats wouldn’t be required to adhere to the Rooney Rule if/when a vacancy arises. Indeed, if the worst-case scenario (i.e., NFL suspends Belichick and the evidence is sufficiently compelling to force Bob Kraft to fire him) unfolds in, say, June, the franchise surely would want to make a quick transition. Starting a coaching search from scratch wouldn’t be the way to make that happen.

    The other possibility is that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would be elevated to head coach and Capers would take over the defense. But McDaniels is still on the “ridiculously freaking young” side, and Capers has nine years of experience as a head coach with two expansion teams.

  7. not sure if I love “Pro Footballtalk.Com” or HATE it….got to admit, it’s on my “favorites” list but all the guy does is throw crap against the wall and sees what sticks. Actually I don’t think he cares what sticks, he just likes to throw crap against the wall……nice way to make a living, wish I thought of it

  8. PFT is FOS. They said Joel Collier was fired as secondary coach when he actually moved over to be director of football operations. Not even close. Then they say McDaniels would be elevated to HC and Capers would be DC. Huh? Pees is already DC. If McDaniels is elevated they would need an OC. PFT needs to get a clue. They speculate about everything anti-Pats but nary a word about how MW would possible come to possess illegal tapes.

  9. Rick I laughed like hell thinking of your post when I saw that PFT post. I wonder if Florio knows he’s become that predictable.

    I’m with you – I’m squarely between love and hate when it comes to PFT. It’s on my favorites as well. Its a good place to get a quick scan of the day’s NFL headlines, but by the same token, you can’t trust the analysis as far as you can throw it. And he’s over the edge nutty when it comes to anything with a legal bent. Eventually I suspect it will become completely unreadable.

  10. Did you see the latest from Florio?….he writes:>>>>>>>>>>> “But the sense we’re getting is that many in the media are hoping for this to become a story of cheating and scandal and cover-ups and suspensions and forfeits”………..wouldn’t one of those, “Many in the media” be HIM?….he has helped to Blow this story out of proportion as much as anyone else. You can tell he’s a lawyer, he’s great at talking out both sides of his mouth.

  11. along the lines of matt walsh having tapes he illegally acquired i just saw him mugging for the cameras at a golf event in hawaii! i keep wondering if this guy just wants to tell me the truth why does he need legal protection? i think he loves the attention he’s getting but he’s no saint even though patriots haters hopes he is going to takedown our pats

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