Detroit Lions hire Dom Capers as senior defensive assistant

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Erik Schlitt
·1 min read
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The Detroit Lions announced that they have hired veteran coach Dom Capers as a senior defensive assistant.

“Capers enters his 47th season as a coach, including his 35th in the NFL,” the Lions said in a press release. “He joins the Lions staff after serving in the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2019) and Minnesota Vikings (2020), respectively.”

Capers got his start as a defensive backs coach, entered the NFL in the mid-1980’s coaching secondaries, and in 1992 he got his first coordinator job with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has been a defensive coordinator with four different organizations over his career, in Pittsburgh (1992-94), Jacksonville Jaguars (1999-2000) — where he was assistant coach of the year in 1999 –, Miami Dolphins (2006-07), and with the Green Bay Packers (2009-17).

Additionally, Capers was also head coach of the Carolina Panthers (1995-98) — he was AP coach of the year in 1996 — and Houston Texans (2002-05). He was the head coach for both teams during their inaugural seasons in the NFL.

Even more impressive, Capers also has coached four NFL Defensive Players of the Year including, Pat Swilling (Saints linebacker in 1991), Rod Woodson (Steelers corner in1993), Jason Taylor (Dolphins defensive end in 2006), and Charles Woodson (Packers cornerback/safety in 2009).

Three offseasons ago, Capers turned down a defensive coordinator position with the Cincinnati Bengals and has settled into a senior defensive assistant role.

It’s unclear exactly what Capers’ specific role will be in Detroit, — the nature of the title lends itself to flexibility — but Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn played for him over three seasons while in Houston, and Capers will likely help guide the first-year coordinator in 2021.