NFL: Detroit Lions hire Dom Capers as senior defensive assistant

Dom Capers has been hired as a senior defensive coach by the Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have hired former NFL head coach Dom Capers as a senior defensive assistant, the franchise announced on Friday.

This will be the 70-year-old’s’ third stint in such a role. He was previously a senior defensive assistant for the Minnesota Vikings and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Capers was the head coach of the Carolina Panthers from 1995-98 and the Houston Texans from 2002-05. He was the first head coach each team ever had and was hired to lead both during their inaugural seasons.

Capers struggled as a head coach, recording just one winning season out of eight and going 48-80 overall.

He joins the staff of new Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell, who was hired by the team on January 20. Campbell replaced Matt Patricia, who was fired in November after three seasons.

Campbell has recently been busy hiring his Detroit Lions staff. He appointed Duce Staley as assistant head coach/running backs coach, Mark Brunell as quarterbacks coach and Mark DeLeone as inside linebackers coach.

Detroit Lions getting defensive guru in Dom Capers

Despite his lackluster tenures as a head coach, Dom Capers will still bring considerable defensive knowledge to the Detroit Lions.

Capers has primarily been a defensive coach during his long career, which started in 1972 when he was a graduate assistant at Kent State.

He served as a defensive backs coach for numerous schools before taking the same position with a USFL team in 1984 and then with the New Orleans Saints two years later.

The Panthers hired Capers away from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1995 to be the franchise’s first head coach. He had been the Steelers’ defensive coordinator.

Capers’ best season with Carolina was his second, when the Panthers went 12-4, won the NFC West and advanced to the conference championship game. However, the team never eclipsed seven wins in his other three campaigns, and Capers was fired after a 4-12 season in 1998.

After a stint as the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator, the Texans hired Capers to lead the new franchise. His luck in Texas was even worse than in Carolina, and he was fired after a 2-14 finish in 2005 that culminated four-straight losing seasons.

Since being fired by the Texans, Capers served as defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins and the Green Bay Packers, with a job as a special assistant/secondary coach at the New England Patriots in between.

Published 30 Jan 2021, 06:28 IST

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