Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Dom Capers: Thoughts on Vic Fangio

By Mike Sando

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers kept coming back to intelligence as a trait he associates with the San Francisco 49ers' new defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio.

The two worked together with Carolina from 1995-98 and with Houston from 2002-05. Capers was head coach. Fangio was defensive coordinator.

"I've got so much respect for him," Capers said during Super Bowl Media Day. "He is so intelligent. He knows what he is doing. He understands the game."

The 49ers already had coaches who understood the game, of course, but I think former coach Mike Singletary's strengths -- leadership and the ability to motivate -- would have proved more sustainable had he been more authoritative as a tactician. New coach Jim Harbaugh appears better qualified in that regard, but his expertise is on offense. Fangio inherits a defense stronger against the run than pass. His style could pack less emotion than the 49ers are accustomed to seeing.

"(Fangio) is very matter-of-fact," Capers said. "He is very competent. In this game, my experience with players, if they know you can help them have success and win, they are going to listen to every word you say."