While he will stay in the NFC North, Dom Capers is switching teams in 2021. After spending the 2020 season as a Vikings' senior defensive assistant, Capers has accepted the same role with the Lions, the team announced on Friday.
Capers, 70, also served in that role in Jacksonville during the 2019 season. The first head coach in Carolina Panthers' history, Capers is preparing to enter his 33rd season in the NFL after initially breaking into the league with the Saints in 1986. Capers, who was also the first head coach in Texans history, won a Super Bowl as the Packers' defensive coordinator in 2010.
After serving as the Saints' defensive backs coach from 1986-91, Capers was named Bill Cowher's first defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh in 1992. That season, the Steelers went from 22nd to 2nd in the NFL in defense, as Pittsburgh won at least 11 games in a season for the first time since 1979. The Steelers' defense continued to be one of the NFL's best units over the next two years before Capers left Pittsburgh to lead the expansion Panthers in 1995.
In 1996, Capers led the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game in just their second year of existence. His success in Carolina didn't last long, however, as Capers was fired following consecutive losing seasons. He quickly resurfaced in Jacksonville, serving as the team's defensive coordinator in 1999 while helping the Jaguars boast the league's top-ranked scoring defense en route to an AFC Championship Game appearance.
Capers coached his second expansion team in 2002, serving as the Texans' head coach for four seasons. He then spent two seasons as Miami's defensive coordinator before accepting the same position with the Packers, winning a Super Bowl during his second season in Green Bay. After nearly a decade with the Packers, he was not retained by former Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy after the 2017 season. Mike Pettine, who replaced Capers in Green Bay, will not have his contract renewed following Green Bay's loss to Tampa Bay in the NFC Championship Game.
During his career, Capers has worked with several Hall of Fame/All-Pro defensive players that includes former Steelers defensive back Rod Woodson, former Pittsburgh/Carolina linebacker Kevin Greene, Panthers linebackers Sam Mills, Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas, former Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, and former Packers defensive back Charles Woodson.
In Detroit, Capers will reunite with the Lions' new quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell, who was the Jaguars' quarterback during Capers first stop in Jacksonville.
Earlier this month, the Lions named Dan Campbell as their new head coach. Detroit also named Brad Holmes its new general manager.
Other Lions coaching hires include: former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn (offensive coordinator), Aaron Glenn (defensive coordinator), Dave Fipp (special teams coordinator), former Lions Pro Bowl linebacker Chris Speilman (special assistant), Duce Staley (running backs coach) and Mark DeLeone (inside linebackers coach).