Statistically the worst kicker in the NFL in 2012, Mason Crosby should have been on the next flight out of Green Bay once the season was over. Nonetheless, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy stuck by Crosby’s side and, what do you know, the kicker had two of his best seasons in 2015 and 2016.
McCarthy has applied the same thought process when it comes to Dom Capers, the veteran defensive coordinator who’s been torn to shreds by both opposing offenses and the Packers fan base alike.
Whether the leash on Capers is short or not, McCarthy is holding firm, just as he did with Crosby.
“Well, going back to the Mason Crosby comment, and obviously applying that to the question about Dom, I think it’s important to recognize, as for answering your question about it being easy to make that change, it would give everybody a breath of fresh air,” McCarthy said, per Wilde and Tausch of ESPN Wisconsin.
“I think all of us in life have always gone through experiences in our past that you may have quit on something just to get that fresh, new start, and it feels good, but in hindsight it was not the best thing for you. I know I have personally. So I’ve always held true to that in my decision-making process.”
Changing a kicker — feeding him confidence and having a singular project to work on through offseasons and practice, and even on a weekly basis — isn’t as difficult as fixing an entire unit.
McCarthy stopped the bleeding with Crosby. He’s placing a Band Aid over a bullet hole when it comes to the defense.
The Packers are years removed from being even remotely feared on the defensive side of the ball — 2010 to be exact. Since then, it’s been an inept product on the field under Capers’ watch.
It’s put pressure on Aaron Rodgers. It’s forced the Packers to go defense early in the draft. It’s morphed Green Bay into one of the most one-dimensional teams in the NFL. Throw in the rash of injuries, and the Packers’ window to another Super Bowl continues to dwindle year by year.
If McCarthy sees light at the end of the tunnel, time’s running out to reach it.