Capers Focused on Current Position

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers says he didn't pay any attention to the coaching carousel and that eight teams were in the market for new coaches after last season. That and more from Thursday night.

With his defense lambasted by injuries, Dom Capers pieced together a unit that ranked second in the NFL in scoring defense.

Fortunately for the Super Bowl-champion Green Bay Packers, none of the eight teams hiring a head coach during the offseason went after one of the best coordinators of this era.

"I don't pay any attention to all that. I've had two of them with expansion teams," Capers said, referring to head coaching jobs in Carolina and Houston. "My goal from the time I came here was to try to give us the best chance of winning the championship. That hasn't changed and it won't change. I like our guys' attitude. They've been taking a lot of pride in trying to improve out there. We've got a lot of young guys, so there's a lot of competition going on. That's my total focus."


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Capers, who turns 61 on Sunday, posted a combined record of 48-80 during eight seasons as a coach. He went 30-34 in four seasons with Carolina and 18-46 in four seasons with Houston. He had just one winning record, 1997, when the second-year Panthers went 12-4 and won a playoff game before losing the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field.

So, might this be Capers' last job?

"You never know. They might not want me here in a year or two," he said with a laugh. "Hopefully, we do well enough that the Green Bay Packers want to keep me around."

Welcome back

Defensive end Mike Neal took part in team drills for the first time in training camp, even getting some time with the first unit. Plus, second-year tight end Andrew Quarless passed his physical after being out with a hip flexor.

"Good to see Mike get back to full go," coach Mike McCarthy said. "I know he felt good after yesterday's work. We brought him all the way back today. Young player, just like most of our team, they just need reps, need the practice, need these live reps at night."

Injury updates

Injuries are starting to pop up with a little more regularity. Pro Bowl cornerback Tramon Williams dropped out with hip tightness, though McCarthy doesn't think it's serious. Tom Crabtree (hip flexor), Lawrence Guy (concussion) and Kerry Taylor (concussion) were held out of practice, joining linemen Adrian Battles (Achilles) and Theo Sherman (sprained ankle), linebacker Diyral Briggs (hamstring) and nose tackle Eli Joseph (hamstring and hip flexor).

T.J. Lang was out with a personal matter.

Four-point stance

— The Packers ran several two-minute drills. In a seven-on-seven period, Aaron Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson with a 5-yard touchdown as the starters battled the starters. Matt Flynn led the No. 2 offense to a touchdown by hitting Ryan Taylor for a 27-yard score as time expired. In 11-on-11 two-minute drills, the No. 1 offense fell short when Jarrett Bush broke up a pass to James Jones on fourth-and-7. With Graham Harrell at quarterback, the backups failed to get a first down.

— New linebacker K.C. Asiodu lined up with the No. 1 kickoff return and punt return units. He was one of the Rams' better special-teamers in 2009. Alex Green took the first rep as the kickoff returner, followed by second-rounder Randall Cobb. On punt returns, it was Cobb getting the first kick, followed by Shaky Smithson.

— McCarthy, on the undrafted free agents: "It's the toughest year. You could really see the first three installations, they had a chance because they had probably 2 1/2 days with their position coach to get ready for it. Now, you can see they're starting to struggle with the new information they get every afternoon and have to apply at night. I'm not really ready to award anybody the ‘early good look award' as far as the free agents. But I like them as a group. I like the way they're working."

— Tickets remain available for Saturday's Family Night. As part of the event, the team will hold drawings for 90 custom jerseys. Tickets are $10 and are available at Packers.com, the Lambeau Field ticket office, Ticketmaster outlets or by calling toll-free 1-800-745-3000.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.


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