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Detroit Lions hire Dom Capers as senior defensive assistant

The Lions suddenly have one of the most tenured NFL coaches in league history on their staff.

Divisional Round - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions announced on Friday that they’ve hired long-time NFL coach Dom Capers as a senior defensive assistant.

If you’re looking for experience in an NFL coach, I’m not sure you could find anyone more experienced than Capers. He’s been coaching football for 47 years, including 35 in the NFL. He’s probably most known in Detroit for his nine-year stint as the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator from 2009-17, but he most recently served as senior defensive assistants for the Jaguars (2019) and Vikings (2020).

In the past, he’s also been the head coach for the Carolina Panthers (1995-98) and Houston Texans (2002-05), both as the franchise’s first coach in history. Interestingly, seven of those eight seasons resulted in a losing record, but the eighth was a 12-4 year that earned him AP coach of the year. He also won PFWA’s Assistant Coach of the Year as the Jaguars defensive coordinator in 1999

It’s unclear how much influence Capers will have on the scheme defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn will implement, but his 3-4 defenses of the 2000s became notorious for their aggressiveness with zone blitzes.

Regardless, Capers is going to bring a lot of experience to a defensive staff that has a first-time defensive coordinator and a first-time head coach.