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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Anthony Rizzuti

Panthers assistant Dom Capers: I still coach because I enjoy it

Dom Capers’ very first words back at Bank of America Stadium couldn’t have been any more perfect.

“It’s like déjà vu up here,” he said during his introductory press conference.

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Capers, the very first head coach in Carolina Panthers history, has officially returned as a senior defensive assistant for the franchise. He was welcomed back on Wednesday, and told reporters he couldn’t help but think about the old days when he arrived.

“A guy told me a long time ago that if you stay in a business long enough, you go full circle,” he said with a smile. “And as I was driving over here, when I arrived and looked up at the skyline, and I couldn’t think about how much changed back in 1995 when we started. But it’s great to be back. I have nothing but great memories of my time here.”

His first time here lasted from 1995 to 1998, the first four seasons of Carolina’s existence. The Panthers went 30-34 over that span, a run that was headlined by a trip to the NFC Championship game in 1996.

So, with over 50 years of coaching experience and plenty of success under his belt, why is the spry 72-year-old still at it? Well, because he can’t see himself doing anything else right now.

“I’ve had a lot of people ask me, ‘Why are you still doing this?’ I do it because I enjoy it,” he said. “I enjoy the competitiveness. The X and O part of the game. Still I don’t think there’s anything that matches Sunday afternoon for three hours.”

Capers also went on to give an idea of what his duties will be under new defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero.

“Well, I’ll have my hands full,” he said. “Scouting the opponent, the defense, the tendencies, those types of things. So that’ll be where a lot of my focus will be—looking at the upcoming opponent, presenting their tendencies and those types of things.”

It’s clear, that even at 72, Capers is ready to keep those hands busy.

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