Lions add former head coach Dom Capers as senior defensive assistant

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
 
| The Detroit News

In a continued effort to add experience to his staff, Detroit Lions coach Dan Campbell added more than four decades worth when he named Dom Capers as a senior defensive assistant on Friday.

Capers, who held a similar role in Minnesota last year, has more than 30 years of NFL experience, including four stints as a defensive coordinator and twice serving as a head coach. 

The inaugural coach of the Carolina Panthers when the NFL added them as an expansion franchise in 1995, Capers coached the team four years. He led the Panthers to a 12-4 record and the NFC championship game in his second season. 

He similarly served as the Houston Texans’ first coach, leading the team from 2002-05. 

More: Lions hire three more coaches, including ex-Jaguars QB Mark Brunell

As noted, Capers has served as a defensive coordinator for four teams, first in Pittsburgh from 1992-94, where the team finished top-10 in points allowed each of those three seasons.

In 1999, after his time with the Panthers came to an end, he was named Jacksonville’s defensive coordinator, turning them from a middle-tier unit to the league’s best scoring defense in one season. 

Capers last stint as a coordinator was also his longest coaching stop of his career, leading the Green Bay Packers defense from 2009-17 under coach Mike McCarthy.

Again, Capers quickly transformed that unit into one of the league’s best but proved unable to sustain the success. The team finished in the bottom half of the league in points and yards allowed his final two seasons with the club.

Aaron Glenn, Detroit’s new defensive coordinator, played under Capers for three seasons in Houston (2002-04), earning All-Pro honors in 2002.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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