Mike McCarthy was a guest on ESPN Milwaukee’s Wilde and Tausch Show last week, and much to the credit of the hosts, he was asked why he’s stuck with beleaguered defensive coordinator Dom Capers for so long. Here was his answer:
“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 said during the 45-minute long radio interview. “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.”
That’s one of the worst analogies I’ve ever read or heard, and that’s coming from someone who’s taught high school English for over two decades. Back in 2012, Crosby was an extremely talented young kicker going through the first bad season of his career. To compare that to sticking with a 66-year-old assistant coach who’s had only two good seasons – and I’m being quite generous – since arriving in Green Bay in 2009 is patently absurd. Then again, it’s also not very surprising. After all, how can you defend the indefensible?
Is Capers totally to blame for the consistently poor play of the defense? Of course not. General manager Ted Thompson hasn’t drafted well enough and the players haven’t played well enough, but at the end of the day, the coordinator is the one ultimately held responsible. Well, at least that’s the case in 31 other places.
One more thing about McCarthy’s analogy – the 28-year-old Crosby still had the potential to get better in 2012. That’s not the case with Capers. He’s not going to become a better motivator. He’s not going to make better and faster adjustments during games. And he’s not going to come up with better blitz packages.
So unless Kevin King, Davon House, Damarious Randall and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix morph into Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson, Sam Shields and Nick Collins circa 2010, and 31-year-old Clay Matthews plays like 24-year-old Clay Matthews, Capers is going to continue to be like Hemingway’s Santiago – an old fisherman who tries his very best but is simply unable to get the job done. See Mike, now that’s an analogy.