On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., May. 05, 2016 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM CDT Community Blood Drive

    Community Blood Drive

    Lambeau Field in the Legends Club

    May 5, 2015

    7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

  • Thu., Jun. 30, 2016 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Bill Schroeder appearance


    Bill Schroeder appearance

    Thursday, June 30, 2016 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Great Clips
    Summerfest Ground – Milwaukee, WI

  • Sat., Jul. 23, 2016 7:00 PM CDT Packers HOF Induction Banquet

    The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. announced that it will induct former Packers players Chad Clifton and Nick Collins, and former broadcaster Russ Winnie at the 46th Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, to be held Saturday, July 23, 2016, in the Lambeau Field Atrium.

    Information about tickets for the banquet, which begins with a cash bar at 4:30 p.m., with dinner and program to follow at 7 p.m., is still being finalized and will be released in the near future (www.packershalloffame.com). The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame Inc. Golf Classic is set for Monday, July 11, 2016, at The Bull in Sheboygan Falls, Wis.

News

Print
RSS

Dom Capers will see reflection in Cardinals defense

Posted Nov 2, 2012

When the Packers offense has the ball on Sunday and Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers pushes back in his press box seat and watches the Cardinals play defense, he’ll likely see a reflection of his career.

The schemes and blitzes he’ll see the Cardinals use will be those he and some of the most fertile defensive minds in football history invented nearly 30 years ago, dating back to Capers’ days with the Philadelphia Stars of the old USFL. It was there Capers, Vic Fangio, Jim Mora and others on the Stars staff laid the foundation to what is popularly known as the zone blitz.

“I always like to watch them on tape,” Capers said of the Cardinals defense when he was asked what he thought of the Cardinals stealing his blitzes. “They’re talented. They do a nice job. I know one thing: They run that cross blitz up inside.”

The cross blitz is one of the signatures of Capers’ blitz playbook. It’s a particular blitz Capers helped make famous during his “Blitzburgh” days, when the inside linebackers running that scheme were LeVon Kirkland and Chad Brown.

This Sunday at Lambeau Field, the Packers will use that cross blitz scheme with A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones, but probably not as much as the Cardinals will use it with Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon. It’s one of the Cardinals’ defensive staples, and it’s helped Washington register eight sacks and Lenon two.

“We did a lot of replacement zones. We’d rush a defensive back and drop a lineman out,” Capers said of his early experimenting with the zone blitz. “We did the same thing in New Orleans. In Pittsburgh, we started doing more. It kind of grew.”

From those humble roots, the zone blitz has grown into one of the most renowned defensive schemes in football history. The branches of its tree are named Bill Cowher, Dick LeBeau, Marvin Lewis, Jim Haslett, Tim Lewis and more. One of the branches off those branches is named Ray Horton, the Cardinals defensive coordinator, who learned the zone blitz scheme from LeBeau at Cincinnati.

“We couldn’t beat people one-on-one up front, so we started doing more and we picked up our sack total late in the season,” Capers recalled of his first season in Pittsburgh. “The third year is when the ‘Blitzburgh’ stuff started. That’s when it really took off.”

Packers defensive assistants Kevin Greene and Darren Perry were members of the “Blitzburgh” defense, and now they are also branches off the zone blitz tree.

Overrated? Outdated?

Well, all these years later, the Packers and Cardinals are tied for the league lead in sacks. Apparently, the tree still bears fruit.

“If I was a betting man, I’d bet their terminology is similar,” Capers said of the Cardinals. There was a smile on his face.

“They bring a lot of pressure,” Packers Offensive Coordinator Tom Clements said. “Their inside linebackers are good rushers. It’s part of their scheme. It’s obviously a concern of ours going into the game.

“Their style is the blitz. That’s what we’re preparing for and we expect it.”

It’s been that way for a long time.

Additional coverage - Nov. 2
 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Packers pick LB Kyler Fackrell

    (1:14) Posted 3 minutes ago

    The Green Bay Packers select former Utah State LB Kyler Fackrell with the No. 88 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

  • Prospect Primer: OLB Kyler Fackrell, Utah State

    (1:42) Posted 31 minutes ago

    Packers.com presents 'Prospect Primer,' a video look at an assortment of draft-eligible players who attended the scouting combine in Indianapolis. OLB Kyler Fackrell started 41 career games over basically three seasons, losing the 2014 campaign to a season-ending knee injury in the first game.

  • Jason Spriggs excited to block for Aaron Rodgers

    (7:00) Posted 1 hour ago

    Green Bay Packers Tackle Jason Spriggs gives his reaction to being selected by Green Bay in the second round (48th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.