Dom Capers reportedly a consideration as Cardinals eye veteran DC
There was no keeping their desires close to the vest this time. With Kliff Kingsbury introduced on Tuesday as Arizona Cardinals head coach, the next step — one arguably as important as the head coaching hire itself — was finding his defensive coordinator.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt a veteran defensive coordinator would be ideal in this situation,” said Cardinals GM Steve Keim.
That comment coincided with NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reporting Tuesday that former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers had been “kicked around in Arizona” as an option.
Kingsbury took the job with the Cardinals expecting to lean on Keim’s knowledge and connections in making the right hire at defensive coordinator.
“That’s how I wanted it,” Kingsbury told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta. “I think when people see the staff we’re going to put together, it’s going to be an impressive staff. We’re not worried about who we know as much as getting the best guy in here and getting the best coach in here, and I think that’s the best way to do it.
“I obviously leaned heavily on (Keim) for names and people that he knows in this league and we feel we have some great candidates,” Kingsbury told the media earlier Tuesday. “It’s going to be attacking style. It’s going to be aggressive.”
Narrowing the list of potential candidates, Keim even went as far as saying he would seek out a defensive coordinator who could coach a 3-4 defense and not the 4-3 that the fired Steve Wilks rolled out during his lone season with Arizona, in which the Cardinals finished 3-13.
Capers led such a transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 upon joining the Packers in 2009.
The 68-year-old was a college defensive backs coach until landing in the USFL with the Philadelphia Stars in 1984. He worked up the ranks to defensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1992-94 before he was head coach of the Carolina Panthers from 1995-98.
Capers followed that tenure with a stint as Jacksonville Jaguars DC (1999-2000) and became head coach of the Houston Texans (2002-05). He was an assistant with the Miami Dolphins (2006-07) and New England Patriots (2008) before a nine-year run with Green Bay.
Capers was fired by former Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Jan. 1, 2018, and did not coach in the NFL this past season.