Lions’ Dom Capers leaving for Denver Broncos, says ‘arrow’s pointing up’ in Detroit

Detroit Free Press

Dom Capers spent this season helping one of his former players, Aaron Glenn, get his defense off the ground as a senior defensive assistant.

With his work for the Detroit Lions done, Capers is headed west to help another one of his ex-charges do the same.

Capers is leaving the Lions to take a senior defensive position with the Denver Broncos, where he will work under new Broncos coordinator Ejiro Evero, his former quality control coach with the Green Bay Packers.

The Broncos have not announced the moves yet because Evero, the Los Angeles Rams secondary coach, cannot be hired until after the Super Bowl.

The Rams play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Capers, 71, is a longtime NFL head coach and coordinator. He coached Glenn for three seasons with the Houston Texans and told the Free Press he is leaving the Lions on good terms and believes Glenn is in line to be an NFL head coach one day.

“Believe me, everything was positive here,” Capers said. “I loved Dan (Campbell) and I thought Dan did a great job this year holding this team together, keeping them fighting. And I thought A.G., I think through a lot of adversity and player movement and all those things did a really good job. I thought we played our best football at the end of the season, which having started two expansion teams from scratch, you’ve got some experience at having to fight through that. I just feel like the arrow’s pointing up and everything’s heading in the right direction here so that really had nothing to do with it.”

Bengals coach: New Lions OC Ben Johnson ‘one of the sharpest football coaches’ ]

The Lions struggled through a 3-13-1 season, but showed marked improvement defensively from 2020 despite losing several key players to injury and having one of the youngest rosters in the NFL.

Glenn interviewed for head coaching positions with the Broncos and New Orleans Saints after the season, but was passed over for both jobs.

He is expected to retain most of the rest of his defensive staff as position coaches Aubrey Pleasant (secondary), Todd Wash (defensive line), Mark DeLeone (inside linebackers) and Kelvin Sheppard (outside linebackers) remain under contract for 2022.

Pleasant is a candidate for the vacant Saints defensive coordinator job.

“Aaron’s on good grounds here,” Capers said. “He’s got a good defensive staff and the guys are competent and they’re fun to be around. I enjoyed the hell out of this year even though we didn’t have as much success as you’d want.”

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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