Packin' a Heavy Punch: Dom Capers Developing a Dangerous Defense in Green Bay

Joe PrindlContributor IJuly 15, 2010

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 13: Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers sacks Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 13, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Packers defeated the Bears 21-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Two years removed from the NFC Championship, the Green Bay Packers find themselves well capable of competing for a Super Bowl title in 2011. 

I used to be skeptical about the Packers ever making a Super Bowl run because Ted Thompson refuses to sign free agents, but he has more than made up for it with some of his genius draft picks. 

The offense is already there, but in order for Green Bay to bring that Lombardi back to Lambeau, the defense must be significantly better than last season.


Dom Capers' Dynamic Defense

In just their first season of transitioning into the 3-4 defense, the Green Bay Packers made drastic improvements in all areas. 

They were ranked second in total defense, first in rush defense, and gave up nearly five less points per game. Now five less points per game may not seem like much, but you when you consider the fact that this team lost seven games by four points or less in 2008, it's an enormous boost. 

Capers' scheme also ranked first in takeaways and produced the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in Charles Woodson.

There's no doubt that the defense for the most part was a success, but when they faced off against top-tier aerial attacks, they were torched.  

Kurt Warner exposed our secondary worse than Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson. 

There are a few players who plan on making a change.
Morgan Burnett is a hard-hitting ball hawk out of Georgia Tech who is one of seven players in the history of the program to accumulate more than 235 career tackles and ranks second in career interceptions.

Surprised that Burnett was still on the board, the Packers immediately traded up to secure their chances of acquiring the man they wanted. 

With Atari Bigby still unsigned, Burnett could very well see himself in position to be the opening day starter. Being a playmaker, he has landed in the perfect spot and is learning behind one of the league's best, Pro Bowl FS Nick Collins. 
Brandon Underwood, despite earlier accusations of sexual assault, has shown a lot of promise, and even Mike McCarthy has nominated him as a potential candidate for "Most Improved" player of the year. 

Evidence is leaning towards Underwood's favor, but many teammates have stated that he's been a "problem" since he's been in Green Bay, which can't bode well for the team chemistry. Because of these off-field issues, Underwood should have a bit of a chip on his shoulder to show that he is 100 percent committed to football and focused on the well-being of the team. 

Early reports in minicamp stated that no receivers could get separation from him, and yes, he was playing with the starters. That being said, it is only minicamp, and he still has a lot to prove, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. 

He has the talent, and he's in the right place—now he just needs to make the right decisions.
On top of the depth being added to our secondary in Morgan Burnett, Brandon Underwood, Pat Lee, and the return of Al Harris, Capers is adding a lot more plays to scheme, which could definitely pay off in the long run. 

Being too predictable at times proved to be the Achilles' heel of the defense last season, so with more variety and different looks being thrown at opposing teams, we should see a better defense overall.