(Chart Source: pro-football-reference.com)
Dom Capers has been around the game of football for a long time, with his Attacking 3-4 defense not far behind. But as he has traveled, a commonality has occurred among the defenses he has overseen. Starting as a Head Coach in Carolina, Capers defense typically ranks near the top of the league in his first year. Capers will install as much of the playbook as he feels his players can handle in the first year so that his players can get used to the complex adjustments, hot calls and tight communication between teammates his defense requires. For one reason or another, this leads to a good to great first year for most of teams.
Then suddenly, the years go on and things take a bit of a different turn. As you can see in Carolina, his defense goes from 7th to 30th in yards allowed over 4 years. In Jacksonville, his squad goes from 4th to 12th. In Houston, 16th to 31st. The points against average follows a similar trend for those teams as well.
I don’t need to remind fellow Packer fans about the defense last year. It was bad. Historically Bad. But from years 1 to 3, the defense has followed a similar trajectory as his other teams in the past. This year the defense has gotten of to a good start, but that was with the first 3 games being against teams that aren’t offensive juggernauts and barely escaping a always dangerous Drew Brees.
Why does this occur? Could be a large variety of factors. Lack of enthusiasm from players as time goes on, other teams figuring out the schemes/Capers’ playcall tendencies, players getting comfortable with their past success in the scheme. The list could go on and on.
The point is while the Green Bay defense will hopefully buck the trend, history says that a consistently strong defense isn’t in the cards.
Any idea why this phenomenon occurs with Capers’ squads or comments on the Defense in general? Leave them below!