Coming back to Carolina is a full circle moment for Dom Capers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The new coaching staff for the Carolina Panthers is pretty much set as new head coach Frank Reich gets ready for his first season. Among the coaches on this staff is the first ever head coach in the history of this franchise -- Dom Capers.
“A guy told me a long time ago, if you stay in a business long enough, you go full circle,” said coach Capers.
The first ever head coach for the Carolina Panthers, now on the staff of a new head coach in Frank Reich who was the first ever QB starting a game for coach Capers.
It gets no more full circle than that.
Coach Capers is back as a senior defensive assistant. No, he won’t be making the day to day call a head coach would be making, but even at the age of 72, his desire to coach is just as high as it was in 1995 when he led this franchise on it’s inaugural journey.
“Back in ‘96, I can remember we had a lot of national media here and some guy asked me ‘what do you want to be doing at 72 years old’ and I looked at him and I said, ‘I want to be coaching,” said Capers. “God willing, here I am still coaching. Still I don’t think there is anything that matches Sunday afternoon for three hours. You put in all that work during the week and there’s no in between-- you either feel real good or you don’t feel good at all. I don’t know what you find to match that when it’s all over.”
As a senior defensive assistant, coach Capers will be a big help to new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero as the team goes back to the ¾ defense that the Panthers used back in the day to get to the NFC Championship in 1996.
While this current coaching staff is in the starting phase of figuring out which players will be a part of this year’s team, coach Capers has been very impressed with the staff coach Reich has hired thus far-- lots of veterans with some fresh new ideas with young coordinators. Now the trick will be to get a team that matches the make up of the coaching staff to be able to weather the times ahead.
“The staff sets the tone,” said coach. “We know there are going to be ups and downs through the course of the year. Things aren’t going to always go the way you want them to go. How you handle the adversity is extremely important. I think more important, if you are successful, how you handle success because that’s more harder to handle than adversity. Frank has done an outstanding job of putting together a staff of experience, a lot of energy, and a lot of good teachers.”
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