The Green Bay Packers defense has ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in yards and points allowed in each of the last two years. And with the team missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, changes are on the horizon north of the border.
It appears that Dom Capers, the team’s defensive coordinator since 2009, will take the fall. Sources have told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Capers is not expected to return in 2018.
With that in mind, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel lists 10 candidates to replace Capers who could be available this offseason in hopes of unlocking an underachieving unit. Among the candidates are two names that will look awfully familiar to Bears fans.
Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio’s contract is up after the season finale and could be available for hire by the Packers or any of the other teams in the league. Earlier in the week, we discussed Fangio as a “logical” replacement for Capers. However, Silverstein believes the Bears might want to keep him around and work with whoever the Bears hire to replace John Fox.
Speaking of Fox, he also finds himself on the list of potential candidates to replace Capers. Silverstein writes there is “little reason” to believe Fox would go back into a defensive coordinator’s role after 16 years as a head coach, he could be open to a job that comes without the stress and demand that comes with being the lead dog. If you’ll recall, Fox was the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator for five years before taking his first head coaching job with the Carolina Panthers in 2002. Fox has a good relationship with Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Fox isn’t only head coach who could return to his roots as a defensive coordinator. Chuck Pagano (Colts), Vance Joseph (Broncos), and Marvin Lewis (Bengals) could be serving as a head coach for their respective teams for the final time on Sunday. Among the others who could be available in the offseason are Gregg Williams (Browns), Steve Spagnuolo (Giants), Teryl Austin (Lions), James Bettcher (Cardinals).
If the Bears can’t come to an agreement with Fangio on a new contract, there could be some crossover from this list and a potential list created by Chicago’s next coach.