Packers fire Dom Capers, longtime defensive coordinator

Dom Capers will not return as the Packers defensive coordinator, according to multiple reports.

ESPN first reported Monday that Capers is out after nine seasons. 

The Packers, who ranked 22nd in total defense this season and were 21st in points allowed, also are expected to make several changes to the defensive coaching staff.

Green Bay (7-9) gave up 356 yards of offense in Sunday’s 35-11 loss to the Lions as the Packers finished an injury-plagued season. 

Capers installed a 3-4 defense when he was hired in 2009 and the change from a 4-3 scheme found early success. The Packers improved from 21st to second in total defense in 2009. They were fifth in total defense and second in points the following year, and Capers’ defense was a big reason Green Bay went on to win Super Bowl XLV. 

But the Packers defense has regressed since, failing to finish in the top 10 since 2010. When the Packers went 15-1 in 2011, they had the NFL’s highest-scoring team, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but the defense ranked dead last and was shredded in a 37-20 home playoff loss to the Giants. 

Capers had been the NFL’s longest-tenured defensive coordinator. He previously served as the defensive coordinator for the Steelers (1992-94), Jaguars (1999-2000) and Dolphins (2007). Capers also was the first coach of both the expansion Panthers from 1995-98 and Texans (2002-05).

Should Capers, 67, decide to retire, it would end a coaching career that began in 1972 as a graduate assistant at Kent State. 

Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who is in the final season of his contract, could replace Capers in Green Bay.